Travis Lux

Coastal Reporter

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

Before joining WWNO, Travis reported for Marfa Public Radio in Far West Texas, and for WRKF in Baton Rouge. He studied Anthropology and Sociology at Rhodes College and radio production at the Transom Story Workshop.

Ways to Connect

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Sinkholes. Potholes. The streets of New Orleans are full of them. No matter how you get around — by bus, car, bike — you've probably seen (and felt) your fair share of them. 

WWNO's Coastal Desk is hosting a sinkhole and pothole tour in Mid-City on May 12, in collaboration with The Lens and iSeeChange, and we'd love for you to join us. 

Coastal News Roundup: Oil Spill Edition

Apr 20, 2018
SkyTruth / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

It was eight years ago today that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up, spewing more than 160 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over several months.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The state announced plans Friday to fund 10 projects that will address problems created by flooding and land loss in six coastal parishes.

 

Louisiana’s main way of fighting land loss and flooding is with the Coastal Master Plan — a $50 billion blueprint for building levees, and restoring marshes and barrier islands. The Master Plan’s projects and priorities are based on science and modeling.

Anjali Fernandes

This week on the roundup: a new study out of Tulane finds the Mississippi River can’t keep up with coastal land loss, an oil spill shuts down the river, and Hurricane names are retired.

 

WWNO’s Travis Lux and Nola.com/The Times Picayune’s Sara Sneath talk about the week in coastal news.

Elizabeth Chamberlain / Vanderbilt University

According to new research, the Mississippi River delta will be much smaller in the future — even as the state plans to spend billions trying to rebuild it.

 

The researchers, led by Elizabeth Chamberlain — who is now at Vanderbilt after getting a PhD from Tulane — looked at how the Mississippi River used to build land thousands of years ago, which can illustrate how it might build land in the future. They took samples of sediment up and down Bayou Lafourche — which was the main river channel at the time.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Mississippi River has been flowing fast and high — and that’s meant the fishing has been good. But the river carries more than fish, water and dirt. It’s also a giant drainage basin for 40 percent of the country — and and picks up pollutants along the way.

 

If you fish from the Mississippi, is it safe to eat your catch? Are there any health concerns?

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

The federal government held an auction Wednesday for oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The Trump administration is pushing for an expansion of offshore drilling, and there has been a lot of anticipation around this sale — the largest ever in the Gulf, with 77-million acres up for grabs.

Coastal News Roundup: Refinery Flare Edition

Mar 16, 2018
Roy Luck / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Last weekend, New Orleanians noticed a big fireball coming from the Chalmette Refining refinery. Some worried there had been an explosion, but it turns out it was a really big flare — a fiery plume that burns off excess stuff created during the oil refining process.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway to a big crowd Thursday morning, in order to relieve pressure on Mississippi River levees downstream.

 

The Army Corps estimates 500-600 people showed up to watch the Corps open the Spillway. Katie Huffaker drove all the way from Houma. She homeschools her kids and thought it would make for a good lesson in geography.  

Travis Lux / WWNO

The company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has started building a pipeline through South Louisiana. Protesters are disrupting construction, and now a judge has ordered construction in the Atchafalaya Basin to stop while a lawsuit plays out in court.

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