Tegan Wendland

Interim News Director, Lead Coastal Reporter

As interim news director Tegan has overseen the work of reporters and announcers, and has coordinated with counterparts at WRKF in Baton Rouge and other collaborating news organizations.

Tegan came to WWNO in 2015 to report coastal news. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Prominent recent projects include New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, a five-part series examining the city’s readiness for a future dominated by a changing climate, and Flyover: Down the Mississippi, a special production of Minnesota Public Radio in which she served as lead local producer for episodes focused on coastal land loss and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2017, Tegan was one of ten reporters from around the world to receive a Metcalf Fellowship for Marine and Environmental reporting, and she also received a competitive resilience reporting fellowship at CUNY in New York City. In 2016 she was named the Louisiana Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Communicator of the Year, and she secured funding to travel to Paris to report on the international climate talks there in 2015.

Tegan has a master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has previously worked for NPR stations in the Midwest and WRKF in Baton Rouge.

Ways to Connect

www.nhc.noaa.gov

New Orleans is bracing for the heavy rains generated by Hurricane Harvey with a pumping system that is still not fully operational.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference today, saying he's confident the pumps will handle the deluge. He says crews have been working 24-hours a day to repair pumps that failed during heavy rain earlier this month. Some neighborhoods sustained several feet of standing water. He says the system is now operating at 92 percent.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Under overcast skies, officials are urging caution, not panic, ahead of heavy weekend rains. The city has been on-edge since failures of the pumping system contributed to widespread flooding on Aug. 5.

Since then, some public officials have been fired— and some, but not all, of the pumps have been fixed.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city remains vulnerable.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune

On this week's installment of the Louisiana coastal roundup, WWNO radio's interim news director, Tegan Wendland, and NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune coastal reporter Mark Schleifstein talk about the largest low-oxygen dead zone in modern history along Louisiana's coast -- nearly 9,000 square miles, or as large as New Jersey.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Florida is facing major threats from climate change and sea level rise. Up to six feet of water could inundate the coast by the end of the century. Officials are trying to prepare and “resilience officers” are leading the charge in the Miami-area. 

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland met up with James Murley, Miami-Dade’s chief resilience officer, to talk about how the tourist mecca is grappling with these challenges. 

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As Louisiana’s coast continues to disappear, people are moving inland. The state says thousands may be forced to leave their homes -  but where will they go, and how will those places, known as ‘receiver communities,’ change?

For clues, we can look to St. Tammany Parish, where thousands moved after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a typical Saturday at Mutt’s restaurant in Mandeville. Families laugh together over seafood and bread pudding.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As climate change causes the sea levels to rise, local and state governments are grappling with how to prepare. With its extensive coast and location in the northeast United States, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts will see the highest sea level rise, Rhode Island is at-risk.

WWNO coastal reporter, Tegan Wendland, spoke with the director of the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council, Grover Fugate, about what Rhode Island is doing to prepare.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

In the Lower Ninth Ward an infrastructure project has reopened old wounds. For more than 50 years, the Army Corps of Engineers has tried to expand the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. The shipping canal connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. Officials want to dig it up and build a new lock to let more tugboats and barges through.

But the people of Lower Ninth are not having it. The conflict is emblematic of a long history of mistrust.

NOAA

Hurricane season starts June 1st. In their annual outlook released today, forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict that the Atlantic Ocean will see "above average" hurricane activity this hurricane season, which runs through November 30th.

 


Steve Myers / The Lens

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office is under fire for pressuring crime witnesses to talk. An investigation by The Lens found that the office sent out fake subpoenas telling people to come in and talk to prosecutors.

The city’s criminal justice system is already taxed - with a high crime rate and an overcrowded jail – and critics say this latest problem is evidence that the DA’s office is using overly aggressive tactics to get victims to cooperate.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with Lens reporter, Charles Maldonado, about his investigation.

Center for Progressive Reform

In coming years, rising seas and sinking land will force many to move away from the coast. Some communities are already doing so. New research from the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington-based nonprofit, looks at how 17 communities - from Alaska to South Dakota - are pulling it off.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with study-author, Loyola University law professor, Rob Verchick.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

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