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Sinking Louisiana | May 2019 | Public Square

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Published on May 30, 2019

Louisiana’s coast is experiencing the fastest rate of relative sea level rise in the world, impacting more than 2 million of its residents. The state has also faced two of America’s most destructive storms - Hurricanes Rita and Katrina -that permanently destroyed miles of shoreline and barrier islands.

Louisiana’s energy sector supplies more than 16 percent of America’s oil and five percent of its natural gas. Global climate change and rising seas will significantly contribute to the deterioration of the coast, and Louisiana’s reliance on extractive industries complicates finding solutions.

Many scientists argue we are nearing a tipping point to save the coast, which demands “connecting the dots,” significant investment and a change in priorities. Louisiana Public Square, in partnership with public radio station WWNO, brings together coastal stakeholders, NGOs, researchers and industry leaders to explore strategies that reduce coastal land loss and protect lives on “Sinking Louisiana” Wednesday, May 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

This program is made possible in part through funding from WNET and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Our panelists will be:

Dr. Virginia Burkett, Climate Scientist with U.S.G.S.
Pat Forbes, Executive Director, Office of Community Development
Bren Haase, Executive Director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
Tegan Wendland, WWNO Coastal reporter
LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and LPB news anchor, Andre’ Moreau, host the program.

The program features interviews with Torbjorn Tornqvist, a professor with Tulane's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Monique Boulet, CEO of the Acadiana Planning Commission and Bren Haase, Executive Director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Major funding for Sinking Cities was provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos with additional funding from Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III and The Marc Haas Foundation, as part of Peril and Promise, a public media initiative from WNET in New York reporting on the stories of climate change. Sinking Cities was also supported by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and Viewers Like You. Additional funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Lise Strickler and Mark Gallogly.

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