Coastal Desk

Southeast Louisiana is sinking under the waves faster than any coastal landscape in the world. With so much at stake for Louisiana and the nation, New Orleans Public Radio has made coastal news a priority.

Since mid-2014 our Coastal Desk reporting team has been producing frequent news reports and in-depth features covering coastal erosion and restoration; hurricane protection; offshore energy and other coastal businesses; wildlife and fisheries impacts; and coastal communities and culture.

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

Canals dug by the oil and gas industry are at the center of lawsuits filed against the industry by several coastal parishes. A federal court has ruled that those lawsuits should be heard in state courts.
Jason Saul / WWNO

In the latest development in several parishes’ efforts to sue oil and gas companies over damage to the Louisiana coast, a federal appeals court has said those lawsuits should be heard in state courts.

That could pave the way for the trials to finally begin, several years after the lawsuits were first filed.

Photo courtesy of Blue Ocean Mariculture via NOAA.

Huge floating fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico? Plans were in the works, until this week.


The “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico is smaller than average this year, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Coastal Environments Inc.

It’s widely known that Louisiana’s coast is disappearing, for a number of reasons — subsidence, the erosion of oil and gas canals, and rising seas. But up until the 1970s, people believed that the coast was growing. That’s when a young Louisiana State University scientist made his findings public: The coast was washing away. That young scientist, Sherwood “Woody” Gagliano, died Friday.

A specially cultivated oyster from the waters around Grand Isle.
Ian McNulty

Oysters are a staple of Louisiana’s culture and cuisine, but because of storms, engineering and river flooding, the industry has been struggling for decades.

Now oyster farmers and fishers might be getting some help from the state.