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


  • 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:

  • 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

  • Introducing the Coastal Community Cookbook!

    September 23rd, 2020  |  1 hr 2 mins
    chef, coast, cooking, environment, louisiana

    On this week’s episode, we talk with Samantha Carter, Outreach Manager with the National Wildlife Federation to talk about her new project, the Coastal Community Cookbook! Inspired by the paper bound cookbooks passed around by our grandmothers, the Coastal Community Cookbook is designed to promote our favorite seafood recipes and raise awareness of the issues found along our coast. You can submit your own recipe here! In our second conversation, Simone and Jacques chat with participating chef, Randy Cheramie! He’s the Chef Instructor, CJFCI at Nicholls State University and tells so many amazing stories about his life as a restaurateur, professor, and chef.

  • CPRA Leader Discusses Hurricane Laura Response

    September 3rd, 2020  |  35 mins 58 secs

    In the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Laura, we sit down with Chip Kline, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities and Chairman of the CPRA Board. Chip talks about the work CPRA is doing to protect the people who call South Louisiana home, what it’s like in Louisiana’s Emergency Center, what he saw when he toured southwest Louisiana, the importance of coastal restoration in the face of future storms and more.

    Please consider helping those affected by Hurricane Laura. We’ve compiled a list of organizations here that you can support to get relief, supplies and more:

  • Reflecting on Hurricane Katrina's Legacy

    September 2nd, 2020  |  56 mins 35 secs

    This week we sit down with two guests to reflect on where we've come in the years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. First we talk to Sidney Coffee, who headed the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities in 2005 at the time of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She would go on to be the first chair of the CPRA and has been instrumental in shaping that agency, the Coastal Master Plan, and coastal restoration in Louisiana. Next we welcome Arthur Johnson back to the show. Arthur is the Chief Executive Officer of the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED). Arthur and his organization have played a crucial role in helping communities, such as the Lower 9th Ward, recover and rebuild in the years since Katrina. He reflects on the progress since 2005 and the challenges communities still face in building a more equitable Louisiana for all communities.

    Please consider helping those affected by Hurricane Laura. We've compiled a list of organizations here that you can support to get relief, supplies and more:

  • A Coastal Conversation with Rep. Garret Graves

    August 21st, 2020  |  35 mins 52 secs

    On this extra special, lagniappe episode of Delta Dispatches, we welcome Congressman Garret Graves back to the show. We reflect on the coming 15 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and how coastal restoration has played a role in preparing Louisiana for future storms. Rep. Graves also talks about how he sees bipartisan work to create cleaner energy and community resilience in Louisiana.

  • Fragile Grounds

    August 21st, 2020  |  47 mins 16 secs

    This week on Delta Dispatches, we speak with Jessica H. Schexnayder about her book, Fragile Grounds, which compiles stories and photographs of endangered cemeteries throughout Louisiana's coastal zone and beyond. On the second half the show we welcome back Deborah Visco Abibou, Ph.D., restoration programs director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. CRCL is about to install their latest oyster reef as part of their oyster shell recycling program.

  • Checking in on Hurricane Season with Steve Caparotta

    August 12th, 2020  |  50 mins 32 secs

    Thanks for tuning in! Last week, forecasters updated their outlook calling for an 'extremely active' remainder of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Simone and Jacques chat with WAFB Meteorologist Steve Caparotta to get his insights on the update and what is driving it, as well as discuss prior record-breaking seasons and other trends. On the second half of the show, Jacques and Simone discuss a number of coastal updates, including reflecting on the legacy of Dr. Sherwood "Woody" Gagliano, highlighting the ongoing Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion scoping process and unveiling a new coastal community cookbook. Listen now!

  • Scoping Out the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion

    July 10th, 2020  |  54 mins 7 secs

    We're dedicating this entire episode to the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion, which is officially in the scoping period. During the scoping period, the public can provide comments and suggest questions about the project that they think should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to ultimately inform how the project moves forward.
    This episode breaks down the scoping process and talks about how you can deliver your comments about the project to the Army Corps of Engineers.

    The official regulatory page can be found here:

    For more information about the process visit our website:

  • Upriver Diversions and the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Also, hello, Pontchartrain Conservancy!

    July 8th, 2020  |  39 mins 31 secs

    Thanks for listening to another episode of Delta Dispatches with Jacques Hebert and Simone Maloz! Today we talk with Dr. Ehab Meselhe, Professor, Tulane University, School of Science & Engineering about his illustrious career. He talks about his time studying two of the largest rivers in the world, the Nile and Mississippi. Dr. Meselhe also recently completed a study that looks at the impacts of planned upper river diversions on operations of the Bonnet Carré spillway. Later in the show, we’re joined by Kristi Trail, Executive Director, Pontchartrain Conservancy (née, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation)! She talks about her organization’s new name, mission, and how they’re using science for our coast. Visit their new website here to learn about the new Pontchartrain Conservancy:

  • Birds of a Feather

    June 18th, 2020  |  40 mins 22 secs

    In this episode of Delta Dispatches, hosts Jacques Hebert and Simone Maloz chat with two experts from the Audubon Society. First we talk with frequent guest Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Louisiana. He looks back at the Louisiana’s first named storm of 2020 – Tropical Storm Cristobal. The storm impacted coastal birds across Louisiana and Mississippi’s coast including the newly completed nesting site at Queen Bess Island. In the second half the show, we chat with Charles Allen, Community Engagement Director for the Gulf Coast for the National Audubon Society. He talks about his extensive background working in public health and environmental issues in Louisiana. Charles also reflects on race and racial inequities coming to light in this moment in our nation's history and highlights the importance of uplifting the principles of equity, justice, diversity and inclusion in all the work we do, particularly on efforts to restore and protect Louisiana's coast for all communities.

  • Get a Game Plan

    June 12th, 2020  |  43 mins 3 secs

    On today’s episode, Jacques and Simone talk with their friends and colleagues about being storm ready by Getting a Game Plan. First, they talk Katie Gruzd with the Restore the Mississippi River Delta, who’s talents extend far beyond running a highly efficient and effective campaign, including developing and illustrating a children’s resource to living with water in New Orleans! We are then joined by the wonderful Rubby Douglass from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security who will help you and your family prepare physically and mentally for severe weather, including hurricanes and beyond.

  • Louisiana Coastal Update

    June 5th, 2020  |  40 mins 54 secs

    On today’s episode, Jacques and Simone talk with Emily Vuxton, who is the Policy Director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s (CRCL). Emily talks with Simone and Jacques about the legislation that could impact coastal restoration from the Louisiana Legislature’s 2020 regular session. They also catch up with their oldest and most frequent guest, Dr. Alisha Renfro, staff scientist also with NWF. Alisha reviews a recent Tulane study on the future of coastal land loss in Louisiana.

  • Building Coastal Resilience in Louisiana and Beyond

    May 21st, 2020  |  41 mins 34 secs

    On today’s episode, Jacques and Simone chat with Charles Sutcliffe, Louisiana’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer and member of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. Charles recently participated in an information exchange convened by Environmental Defense Fund with resilience officers from across the country to discuss strategies that help protect communities, businesses and ecosystems in the face of sea level rise and climate change. Charles discusses the work his team has done to build resilience in Louisiana and highlights some lessons learned from other coastal states. In the second half of the show, Simone chats with Jeannette Dubinin, Director of Coastal Programs for Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) to discuss work her organization has done to help communities build resilience to Louisiana’s changing coast and climate.

  • Louisiana SeaGrant and Louisiana Seafood Direct

    May 15th, 2020  |  44 mins 2 secs

    On this week's episode, Simone and Jacques chat with Dr. Robert Twilley, Executive Director of Louisiana SeaGrant and professor of LSU College of the Coast & Environment, about the latest news from SeaGrant and resources available to the public through their website. They then bring on first-time guest Thomas Hymel, marine extension agent with both the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant, to discuss the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program and Louisiana Seafood Direct, where consumers can get their fresh, delicious Gulf seafood directly from fishers.