Living on the coast means living on the front lines of a rapidly changing planet. And as climate change transforms our coasts, that will transform our world.
Every two weeks, we bring you stories that illuminate, inspire, and sometimes enrage, as we dive deep into the environmental issues facing coastal communities on the Gulf Coast and beyond. We have a lot to save, and we have a lot of solutions. It’s time to talk about a Sea Change.
Sea Change is a new podcast hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Join us as we investigate and celebrate life on a changing coast.
Based in New Orleans, Sea Change is a production of WWNO New Orleans Public Radio and WRKF Baton Rouge Public Radio. Sea Change is a part of the NPR Podcast Network and is distributed by PRX. Hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Our theme song is by Jon Batiste.
Sea Change is made possible with major support provided by The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Coastal Desk is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the Meraux Foundation.
Pardon the Intrusion
Today, we are exploring a growing threat to our freshwater supplies in coastal regions all over the country. With climate change, we are experiencing sea-level rise and more frequent droughts, both of which make it easier for saltwater to creep into places we don’t want it.
First, we go to Plaquemines Parish, an area that’s been dealing with the effects of saltwater intrusion on their drinking water for months. An extreme drought across the Midwest has meant a less-than-mighty Mississippi. Which, has allowed seawater to come up the River—otherwise known as our drinking water supply down here. And then we travel to the coast of North Carolina, where we see another impact of saltwater intruding where we don’t want it. And we find out: what happens to agriculture when the saltwater comes in? Both of these places offer a glimpse into what could become a saltier future for much of our coastal communities.
Reported by Halle Parker and David Boraks. Hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
This story was produced through a collaboration between WFAE public radio in Charlotte and Climate Central, a non-advocacy science and news group. Reporters John Upton and Kelly Van Baalen contributed.
Designing With Nature
As we experience worsening impacts from climate change, we’re wondering: How can we rethink engineering? Instead of trying to control nature, can we design with nature?
There are more than a thousand miles of levees and floodgates lining each side of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Thousands of dams also hold back water and sediment throughout the Mississippi basin. But the thing is, you can’t totally harness a river such as the Mississippi. And, research has shown that our efforts to tame the river have actually made our risk of flooding worse when you add climate change to the mix.
Today on Sea Change, we talk to MacArthur award-winning landscape architect, Kate Orff, and renowned environmental scientist, Don Boesch, about how they envision a future where instead of concrete, we turn to nature to protect us.
Produced by Carlyle Calhoun who co-hosts the show with Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Editing help from Meg Martin. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
Presenting: KQED’s Sold Out: Rethinking Housing in America
Today on Sea Change, we are bringing you an episode from our friends at KQED. The story you’re about to hear is from the third season of their podcast called Sold Out: Rethinking Housing in America.
Climate change is intensifying wet periods across California, untaming waterways humans corralled with dirt and concrete. In this episode, “Searching for Home on Higher Ground,” reporter Ezra David Romero takes us to Pajaro, California, where he asks a question that many of us here on the Gulf Coast have also had to ask: when the water comes for your home, how do you adapt? Is abandoning life in the floodplain the only option? Ezra follows the Escutia family as they manage their retreat from the Pajaro levee after a devastating breach and their search for an affordable home on higher ground.
Listen to Sold Out wherever you listen to podcasts.
To find out more about the podcast, visit: https://www.kqed.org/podcasts/soldout
This episode was hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Ezra David Romero reported and produced this episode. Our theme music is by Jon Batiste. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
Flood By Flood
As natural disasters worsen and extreme weather grows more frequent, it’s led to more people being displaced across the planet. Sometimes, we call those people climate migrants. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in the last year alone, around 3 million Americans were displaced by natural disasters. But for some climate migrants, displacement isn’t always so immediate or apparent, but it is often tangled up in bureaucracy and a broken system.
Today on Sea Change, we explore what it means to recover after disaster. First, we travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where we look at how long it truly takes to be made whole — if that ever happens. Three years after a deadly hurricane struck the city, people are still rebuilding their lives. Then, we go to Texas to hear from residents pushed to the margins six years after Hurricane Harvey, suffering through what has become chronic flooding.
Reported by Stephan Bisaha and Erin Douglas. Hosted by Stephan Bisaha and Halle Parker. Edited and produced by Carlyle Calhoun and Greta Díaz González Vazquez. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
Riddle of the Ridley
Kemp's Ridleys are the most endangered sea turtle on the planet...can they lose their nickname of the "heartbreak turtle"? Today, we go on a journey to the remote Chandeleur islands to try to find the mysterious Kemp’s Ridley turtles, who, after 75 years, have been discovered on the shores of Louisiana. It’s a story of loss and restoration, of hope and heartbreak.
Hosted by Sea Change managing producer Carlyle Calhoun. Editing help by Nora Saks, Garrett Hazelwood, and Halle Parker. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
Abandoned in (Plant)ation Country
Earlier this year, we told the story of how a change in the White House had the potential to turn the tide for Black communities fighting against environmental pollution in Louisiana's industrial corridor nicknamed Cancer Alley — one of the country's largest hotspots for toxic air.
The Environmental Protection Agency's new leader pledged to use all the tools in his toolbox to deliver "environmental justice," and his agency launched a groundbreaking investigation into alleged civil rights violations by the state. Environmental advocates thought it could be the moment everyone waited for after years of debate over discrimination.
Then, out of the blue, the EPA dropped its high-profile investigation without any resolution. It blindsided everyone.
Today on Sea Change, we go back to Louisiana's industrial corridor to try to find some answers. Why, when the EPA was on the cusp of reforming the petrochemical state of Louisiana, did it just... back off? Turns out, the implications are even bigger than we imagined. Far bigger than Louisiana.
Reported and hosted by Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Edited by Nora Saks and Carlyle Calhoun. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
Great informative podcast
I just listened to your shrimp podcast. I would ABSOLUTELY choose Louisiana shrimp over any cheap imported option and hope that this becomes available in the future - as well as more source transparency!
So so good
Already sending it around to my nerd friends and colleagues. The Rescuing Our Past episode hooked me.
Great show! Please keep doing what you’re doing to inform the public!