Tegan Wendland

Lead Coastal Reporter

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. Tegan is a recipient of  Metcalf and CUNY Resilience reporting fellowships.  Her work has aired on national programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Science Friday, Marketplace, Here & Now, Planet Money and Reveal. She also served as interim News Director at WWNO from 2017-2019.

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.

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After big floods like those in 2016 that inundated many homes in the Baton Rouge-area and beyond, sometimes a home buyout is the right choice. People whose homes have flooded multiple times can get money from the federal government to relocate to safer ground. But a new report from an environmental advocacy group finds that those buyouts can take a long time.

americanqueensteamboatcompany.com

Those calliope-playing Mississippi riverboats will soon be carrying more than passengers. Scientists are preparing to attach monitors to some boats in an effort to gather more data on the river's water quality.

Louisiana Office of Community Development

As rainfall increases and storms intensify, local officials across Louisiana are looking for ways to protect their citizens. They’re putting up levees and floodwalls and trying to manage all of the water. But floodwater doesn’t follow parish lines, so state officials are working on a solution.

As Hurricane Barry headed for the coast in July, Sharonda Kotton and her family were on edge. They live near Bayou Manchac in Iberville Parish, a densely-wooded rural area just south of Baton Rouge. It floods often.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Rainstorms seem to be getting more intense. In New Orleans, every time it rains, people worry about flooding. A new study from LSU finds that storms in Louisiana are getting bigger and wetter, dropping more rain over a shorter period of time.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with state climatologist Barry Keim and LSU research associate, Vinny Brown, who looked at climate data going back to the 1960’s.

Jason Saul

The Trump administration is making major changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could affect some plants and animals in Louisiana.

The act, passed in the 1970’s, protects endangered plants and animals. At that time, the “pelican state” almost lost its state bird. The brown pelican was on the brink of extinction. Then, officials went to Florida and brought back juvenile pelicans to reestablish them in Louisiana. In 2009 they were officially taken off the list of endangered species.

RIDE New Orleans

The transportation advocacy group RIDE New Orleans released its annual report on the state of transit on Wednesday. The report finds that while the city has made some improvements to the bus system, work is still needed.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The residents of Gordon Plaza continue to lobby city government to do something about the polluted land the community was built on. Advocates met with Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Thursday and held a press conference in front of City Hall afterwards.

Gordon Plaza was developed in the 70s and 80s as low-income housing and became a predominantly black neighborhood. Before that, it was the Agriculture Street landfill. In the 1990’s the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as a superfund site.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Presidential candidate Joe Biden addressed a group of advocates and teenagers in Central City on Tuesday. 

Biden and his wife and daughter took a tour of the non-profit Youth Empowerment Project.

After being introduced by congressman Cedric Richmond, he gave a wide-ranging talk to a roomful of about 60 teenagers, which oscillated between inspirational and stump speech. 

Claire Bangser

Louisiana’s coast is a unique mix of cultures. For hundreds of years Europeans, Africans and Native Americans have lived off the land and water. But that land is disappearing, battered by storms and rising seas, and people are migrating north.

Now, the state is trying to preserve some local traditions before they disappear.

CPRA

The Water Institute is a Baton Rouge-based research institution that works with the state and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on issues like land loss and river diversions. One of its former scientists is now under investigation by the FBI.

The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate broke the story. WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with reporters Della Hasselle and Bryn Stole about the implications for coastal research.

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