Wonder South

Surplus & Sight

Dispatch 11: Along the Lost Coast with Tegan Wendland

Words and Photography* TEGAN WENDLAND

*unless otherwise noted

Wonder South friend and WWNO journalist Tegan Wendland is a stalwart reporter on the rapidly-receding Louisiana coastline. She has graciously shared with us some looks into her journey as a contributor to NPR documenting through story and sound this region where sink holes are commonplace, where long-standing communities are looking to higher ground, where the land is disappearing at a rate faster than anywhere else in the world. . .

Photograph by Alex Kolker.

Photograph by Alex Kolker.

Here I am sitting in a sinkhole in New Orleans’ Mid City while reporting on systemic infrastructure problems caused by subsidence. (Listen here)  

Photograph by Jacques Hebert.

Photograph by Jacques Hebert.

Interviewing Richie Blink, a community organizer for the National Wildlife Federation in Plaquemines Parish, about a Native American archaeology site that is washing away into the Gulf. (Listen here)

Virgil Allen runs the museum and training program at the state’s first offshore rig, Mr. Charlie, which was dragged to the banks of the Atchafalaya when it retired and is now a museum. (Listen here)

Photograph by Ryan Kaileth.

Photograph by Ryan Kaileth.

Riding with Kenneth and Patricia Hymel out to the chapel they care for in the swamps of Blind River. (Listen here)

A bridge and abandoned boat in a bayou at Isle de Jean Charles, where the Native American community that has long inhabited the island are attempting to move to higher ground. (Listen here)

Fishermen gather at the shore of Isle de Jean Charles at sunset to net for shrimp. It’s a labor-intensive way to fish, with each cast bringing back only a few shrimp, but it’s tradition. (Listen here)

A sign marks the end of the line, the southernmost tip of the state of Louisiana. (Listen here)

Tegan Wendland is WWNO's coastal reporter. She has a background in investigative news reporting and an M.S. in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked as a reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, WRKF-FM in Baton Rouge and WVIK-FM in Rock Island, Illinois. Her stories have aired nationally on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace.