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

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico saw its biggest drop in more than a decade due to the production shutdown ahead of Hurricane Barry earlier this summer, but most consumers likely didn't notice a difference at the gas pump.

As Hurricane Barry approached the Louisiana coast in July, companies evacuated workers and temporarily shut down many of their oil and gas platforms in the Gulf.

Joe Ross / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Steel recycling company Bayou Steel has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The move comes a day after announcing it would be laying off 376 employees and shutting down its LaPlace-based steel mill.

According to documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court Tuesday, the steel recycling company owes between $50 and $100 million to other businesses. Among the 30 entities owed the most, seven are based in Louisiana.

IPCC

A new report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says sea levels are rising twice as fast as they used to. They’re also warming up and losing oxygen, meaning climate change will increasingly impact everything from coastal flooding to hurricanes to the number of fish in the sea.

According to the report, about 680 million people (10% of the global population) live in coastal regions less than 30 feet above sea level, and face increasing risks caused by sea level rise, storm intensification, and a host of other issues. Large swaths of coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Coast fall squarely into that category.

To better understand what the report suggests about the future of the Gulf Coast, WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with Dr. Lisa Levin, an oceanographer at UC San Diego and one of the authors of the report.

Janet Wilson / WWNO

Politicians, newsmakers, and members of the media have been reflecting on the life of Cokie Roberts after news that she passed away Tuesday morning due to complications from complications with breast cancer. Roberts was a native New Orleanian, reporter, news anchor, and commentator for several news outlets during a long career in media. She was also the daughter of Louisiana politicians Lindy and Hale Boggs.

Jim Bowen / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Chinese company Wanhua recently informed St. James Parish officials that it was withdrawing its application to build a chemical plant in the parish. The plant had faced vocal opposition and legal action from some residents and environmental groups, but the trade war with China may also have played a part in the company’s decision.

The Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is loaded with industry. Refinery stacks and storage tanks stand tall on the horizon, their contiguous line interrupted by sugarcane fields, ornate plantations, and quiet neighborhoods.

Ecig Click / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Louisiana state health officials are asking healthcare providers to report possible vaping-related illnesses.

A growing number of people around the country have been hospitalized with a pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarettes -- also called vapes, vaping devices, and a number of other different names.

Gabriele Manoli / ETH Zurich

As the climate warms, cities are thinking about how to mitigate urban temperature increases. But cities in wet climates like South Louisiana may have a tougher time cooling off than those in drier climates, according to a new study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

Dr. Eugene Turner / LSU

The Mississippi River plays a critical role in Louisiana’s plan to combat coastal land loss. The state wants to divert part of its flow into the dying marshes as a way of building back some of the land.

But, a recent study by LSU researcher Gene Turner says the benefits of using the river might not outweigh the drawbacks. WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with Turner about the study, and the response from the state.

Antrell Williams / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Louisiana is building a new cybersecurity center in Baton Rouge.

The newly named Louisiana Cyber Coordination Center, or LC3, has a few goals. It will support existing cyber missions at military sites like Fort Polk. It will also be used to help train members of the Louisiana National Guard, as well as to help defend governments and companies against a growing number of cyber attacks.

NOAA

Even though Barry didn’t turn out to be as bad as many people feared, it still caused damage in several Louisiana parishes. Now, the state of Louisiana is asking the federal government to help pay for the costs of preparing for the storm and post-storm cleanup.

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