Delta Dispatches

Discussing Louisiana’s coast, its people, wildlife and jobs, and why restoring it matters.

About the show

As Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) advances its draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan, the next few months will be critical in the fight to restore Louisiana’s coast. To keep you engaged and informed, we will bring you discussions on important aspects of coastal restoration, the latest coastal news and events, interviews with relevant experts, business and community leaders, and more.

Delta Dispatches on social media

Episodes

  • The Place with No Edge — A Conversation with Author Adam Mandelman on the Mississippi River Delta Past, Present and Future

    March 30th, 2021  |  40 mins 54 secs

    On today's episode, Jacques and Simone welcome author Adam Mandelman to discuss his book, The Place with No Edge: An Intimate History of People, Technology, and the Mississippi River Delta, "a book about people’s dreams of mastering nature through technology in one of the wettest, most unruly landscapes of North America. Published with Louisiana State University Press in April of 2020, it chronicles three centuries of European efforts to tame the Mississippi River Delta, an environment defined by flood and wetlands." Adam discusses highlights key themes from his book, provides insight into his research process and discusses his perspectives on efforts to build greater resilience on the Mississippi River Delta. Purchase a copy of his book at your local bookstore or here: https://lsupress.org/books/detail/the-place-with-no-edge/.

  • Discussing the Mid Barataria DEIS with the Army Corps:

    March 18th, 2021  |  42 mins 52 secs

    On today's episode, Jacques and Simone welcome Jeff Varisco, Senior Project Manager, and Brad Laborde, Regulatory Manager, with the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. Jeff and Brad walk us through the milestone that is the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion, discuss how the public can engage in submitting comments over the comment period and provide insight into how these comments will inform a final Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Read the DEIS, get information on the formal public meetings and details on how to submit public comments at: https://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Permits/Mid-Barataria-Sediment-Diversion-EIS/

  • A Monumental Moment for Louisiana’s Coast

    March 4th, 2021  |  53 mins 7 secs

    On this week’s episode of Delta Dispatches, Simone and Jacques bring back their first-ever guests, Dr. Alisha Renfro with the National Wildlife Federation and Steve Cochran campaign director with Restore the Mississippi River Delta and Environmental Defense Fund, to mark a big milestone for Louisiana’s coast -- the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement and Restoration Plan for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion would be the single largest ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history and will build more wetlands than any other individual restoration project in the world in an area experiencing the highest rates of land loss on the planet. Alisha and Steve discuss the science behind the project, why it’s critical to Louisiana’s future and how the public can get involved in the process moving forward. Learn more at http://mississippiriverdelta.org/midbarataria.

  • Looking Ahead to 2021

    February 26th, 2021  |  48 mins 14 secs

    This week on Delta Dispatches, we sit down with one of our favorite guests, Bren Haase, Executive Director for the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority. The CPRA is releasing their draft Annual Plan, which outlines the coastal projects moving forward in the next 12 months and Bren walks us through many of the big projects that will make 2021 a great year for coastal Louisiana.

  • Cook-off for the Coast & Friends of Bayou Lafourche

    February 11th, 2021  |  49 mins 32 secs

    On today's episode, Simone and Jacques welcome back National Wildlife Federation Outreach Manager Samantha Carter to discuss the fourth annual Cook-off for the Coast. Although this year's cook-off will be virtual, Sam highlights how it will still feature great content, including music from the Michot’s Melody Makers with special guest Leyla McCalla, a virtual coastal flyover, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, as well as a recipe and artwork contest. On the second half of the show, Friends of Bayou Lafourche Executive Director Ryan Perque joins to discuss exciting progress on the bayou, including a new partnership with Nicholls State University, improvements along the waterway, as well as upcoming events and opportunities to get involved. Learn more and support this organization at bayoulafourche.org.

  • What is an Environmental Impact Statement?

    February 4th, 2021  |  43 mins 8 secs

    This episode of Delta Dispatches features environmental law experts providing an overview of the legal and regulatory backdrop upon which Louisiana is executing its coastal restoration and protection efforts. Amy Reed, Staff Attorney, and Jarryd Page, Public Interest Law Fellow, both from the Environmental Law Institute, join Simone and Jacques to discuss the forthcoming draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion. They also discuss the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other important laws guiding the implementation of this large-scale coastal restoration project. More importantly, they highlight how the public and stakeholders can get involved and participate in this process. Learn more at ELI.org and by reading this ELI blog post about the regulatory process surrounding the diversion.

  • Coastal Happenings in St. Bernard Parish

    January 21st, 2021  |  49 mins 9 secs

    On today's show, Jacques checks in with Blaise Pezold, Coastal and Environmental Program Manager at The Meraux Foundation, who provides updates on a number of exciting programs the foundation is carrying out in St. Bernard Parish, from a new citrus research facility to ongoing coastal education and volunteer initiatives. Freelance journalist Sara Sneath then joins to discuss her recent reporting and highlight a unique way to tour St. Bernard Parish and the rest of our coastal communities -- on your bike.

  • A National Estuarine Research Reserve for Louisiana’s Coast

    January 8th, 2021  |  58 mins 11 secs

    Welcome back to Delta Dispatches as Simone and Jacques kick off 2021 with a favorite guest, Dr. Robert Twilley, who updates the duo on the exciting development of Louisiana being considered for a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Louisiana is one of the few coastal states that doesn’t currently have a NERR. Dr. Twilley discusses what value a NERR would bring to a state and how having one would allow Louisiana’s coast to have greater attention at the national level. Simone and Jacques then chat with Karen Gautreaux, Director, Government Relations, Louisiana Chapter, The Nature Conservancy, who highlights Louisiana’s first-ever Climate Task Force and gives an update on important work happening in the Atchafalaya Basin.

  • Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Progress on Louisiana's Coast in 2020

    December 17th, 2020  |  44 mins 44 secs

    Simone and Jacques close out 2020 with their 150th episode of Delta Dispatches, welcoming Greg Grandy, Deputy Executive Director for Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Greg highlights the immense progress that the agency made on implementing coastal restoration and protection projects in 2020, despite obstacles ranging from the Covid pandemic to an extremely active, unprecedented hurricane season. CPRA advanced 112 coastal projects with 49 projects in construction in 2020, and Greg also highlights what's to come in 2021. Jacques then welcomes Marissa Wendte and James Karst from the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana on to highlight progress on the coalition's oyster shell recycling program, a new virtual store, next year's virtual State of the Coast and their annual Shell-A-Bration!

  • Covering the Coast: A Conversation with Fox-8 News Anchor John Snell

    December 15th, 2020  |  39 mins 5 secs

    Thanks for listening to Delta Dispatches! As we close out 2020, Jacques & Simone chat with one of Louisiana’s most iconic television journalists: WVUE Fox-8 News Anchor John Snell! You may know John from his decades-long career as a reporter and news anchor at WVUE Fox-8 in New Orleans, but in this episode, we get to know more about the man in front of the camera. John discusses what brought him to and kept him in New Orleans, advice to aspiring journalists, reflections on how the industry has changed, as well as his love of photography. He also highlights his award-winning "Coast in Crisis" series and why Louisiana's land loss crisis is such an important and compelling story for him to cover.

  • ...And a Pontchartrain Conservancy in a Pear Tree!

    December 10th, 2020  |  32 mins 52 secs

    This week Simone and Jacques catch up with Pontchartrain Conservancy Executive Director Kristi Trail who recaps the biggest milestones for her organization in 2020. Kristi also highlights ongoing programs, from on-the-ground science on water quality and coastal restoration, to STEM education and volunteer tree plantings. There are many ways to support Pontchartrain Conservancy in their mission, from donations to volunteering to shopping at the New Canal Lighthouse. Learn more at scienceforourcoast.org.

  • Climate Science & Hurricanes and New Orleans City Park

    December 3rd, 2020  |  59 mins 20 secs

    Thanks for listening to this episode of Delta Dispatches. Our hosts, Simone & Jacques, catch up after a few weeks off and reflect on the long (and finally over) 2020 hurricane season. Our first guess is Ilissa Ocko, senior climate scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. She talks about her work and how climate change impacts hurricanes. On the second half the show, we chat with Meg Adams, the Director of Environmental Stewardship at New Orleans City Park. Meg talks about the great history of City Park and how it’s embracing environmental stewardship.

  • Preserving Louisiana's Cultural Heritage

    November 2nd, 2020  |  1 hr 1 min

    Thanks for listening to the latest episode of Delta Dispatches. This episode was recorded early last week, before Hurricane Zeta made landfall. Everyone at Delta Dispatches sends good vibes to all our listeners, as we’ve been impacted with the rest of Southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi. We hope this episode will provide some entertainment as you may be waiting for the lights to come back on. We talk to Maida Owens, Louisiana Folklife Program Director about her important work capturing the cultural heritage of our state. We are also joined by one of our favorite (and most frequent) guests, Erik Johnson from the National Audubon Society! He talks about his work with the elusive Black Rail.

  • Why MRGO Must Stay Gone

    October 22nd, 2020  |  53 mins 2 secs
    coast, environment, gulf, louisiana, mississippi river, mississippi river gulf outlet, mrgo

    Thanks for tuning in this week! Today, Simone and Jacques have a special, panel-esque episode all about the infamous Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, nicknamed the "Hurricane Highway", and progress made in the decade since its closure. Pontchartrain Conservancy Coasts & Community Program Director John Lopez, National Wildlife Federation Gulf Program Deputy Director Amanda Moore, and Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development CEO Arthur Johnson offer their invaluable perspectives on the channel's devastating impact to the surrounding communities and ecosystem prior to its closure in 2009, particularly when it acted as a funnel for storm surge when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. The panelists also discuss the rebound made by the ecosystem over the past 10 years that was captured in a recently released report and increased community engagement around coastal restoration.

  • The Road to Resilience

    October 14th, 2020  |  45 mins 40 secs
    coast, delta, environment, land loss, louisiana, resilience, state

    Thanks for listening to this week’s episode! Today, Simone and Jacques talk about the ongoing efforts by Louisiana's state agencies and nonprofits to increase coastal resilience in relation to climate change. First, we catch up with Jeannette Dubinin, the Director of Resilience and Adaptation for the Center for Planning Excellence, or CPEX. She talks about some of their exciting new projects and their free virtual Smart Growth Summit that is currently underway -- and accepting participants! Their next session is focused around green infrastructure in Louisiana. Louisiana's first Chief Resilience Officer Charles Sutcliffe joined us for our second segment, providing the juicy details about the governor's latest executive orders focused on lowering carbon emissions across the state and increasing collaboration between state agencies to promote resilience initiatives.
    This podcast came in the wake of Hurricane Delta striking southwest Louisiana just six weeks after Hurricane Laura. To help with recovery, check out our list of resources: http://mississippiriverdelta.org/laurarelief

  • Hurricane Laura Recovery

    September 30th, 2020  |  1 hr 1 min

    Thanks for listening to this week’s episode! Today Simone and Jacques talk about the ongoing needs and obstacles in the wake of Hurricane Laura. First, we speak with Sara Judson, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana. She talks about the relief and recovery after the storm and the role her organization is playing to help the people of Southwest Louisiana. Also joining us is Corey Miller, Director of Community Resilience with our friends at CRCL. Corey talks about how you can help in the recovery through volunteering and donations.

    If you want to help support the people of Southwest Louisiana, visit https://www.helpswla.org/