It’s a commonly cited statistic: every hour, a football field’s worth of marsh disappears from the Louisiana Gulf Coast. But what does that really mean? And how can Louisiana Gulf Coast residents combat this erosion? Those questions, coupled with our commitment to improving the Louisiana environment, are why the Greater New Orleans Foundation funded the 15-part WWNO series “Louisiana Coast: Last Call” that examined the state’s massive coastal erosion and aired between May 13, 2013 and December 2, 2013.
The series, reported by Bob Marshall and produced by Fred Kasten, was a regional winner of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and is now advancing to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition. Throughout the series, Marshall and Kasten explored the causes of the erosion, projections of future losses, the regional and national impacts on the economy and environment, and possible approaches to restrain the loss. The series featured interviews with scientists, engineers, public officials, fishermen and oystermen.
Part One of the series, “The Shape We’re in Now,” begins by revealing two points of agreement among those involved in fighting the battle of erosion: first, we are losing; and, second, if we don’t stage a comeback, most of the land in the Louisiana Gulf Coast will be under water by the end of the century. Set against this dire and urgent backdrop, Marshall and Kasten examine throughout the series the erosion battle plan: Louisiana’s 40-year Master Plan program. First approved in 2007, the $50 billion plan is touted as the region’s best hope for staying about sea level rise. Teetering between being purely educational and a serious call to action, the series is certainly deserving of its award-winning status.
Click here to listen to the award-winning series.