As Executive Director of Restore or Retreat, a non-profit coastal advocacy group working to identify and expedite the implementation of aggressive, large-scale restoration projects, Terrebonne Parish native Simone Theriot Maloz works with Restore the Mississippi River Delta on the local, state and federal levels to advocate for the needs of the disappearing Louisiana coast, specifically the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins. Since the devastating hurricanes of 2005 and the 2010 oil spill, she has also been tracking the process of the different planning efforts underway, including the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Act (NRDA), Clean Water Act Penalties, the 2012 and 2017 State Master Plan Update and the Louisiana Coastal Area Study projects, all to ensure the needs of the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins are being adequately met with the necessary sense of urgency in the face of what is at stake. She was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation in the summer of 2014, and is a member and co-chair of the Commission’s Diversion Subcommittee. Simone plans on having the Louisiana coast continue to serve as her home and the home of her children and grandchildren.
May 5th, 2021 | 28 mins 4 secs
This week on Delta Dispatches, Jacques brings back our friends from the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana James Karst, director of communications and marketing, and Emily Vuxton, policy director. James talks about the upcoming State of the Coast conference (registration open now: https://www.stateofthecoast.org/rates) and Emily talks about things to keep an eye on in this year’s Louisiana state legislative session including the 2021 Coastal Annual Plan.
April 22nd, 2021 | 36 mins 40 secs
This week on Delta Dispatches we’re talking about the inspirational new exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art which features works from John Taylor, storyteller, environmentalist, self-taught artist and life-long resident of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Here to talk about the exhibit is Mikhayla Harrell, the Museum Educator and Teen Intern Coordinator at the Ogden Museum and Amanda Moore Deputy Director, Gulf Program for the National Wildlife Federation. This exhibition features a variety of works by Taylor, including eight walking sticks carved from wood found along the banks of the Mississippi River and eight photographs of the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle as well as historical information about Louisiana wetland loss, and provides a number of ways people can get involved with restoration efforts.
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/.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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