So many tropical storms and hurricanes hit Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles that native residents talk about them as if they’re family members: “Who broke that window—Rita? Gustav? It wasn’t Katrina or Ike.” Rising sea levels and increasingly volatile storms bring other, no less harmful consequences, too: groundwater salinization, disappearing wetlands, decimated wildlife and fishing. The choice for people and animals in these places is stark: retreat or die. In her new book, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, environmental reporter Elizabeth Rush tells the stories of the life-altering changes happening right now in our own back yards.
Go beyond the episode:
- Elizabeth Rush’s new book, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore
- “The Marsh at the End of the World,” an excerpt from the book, published in Guernica
- Read an excerpt from Rush’s previous work, Still Lives from a Vanishing City, on disappearing homes in Yangon, Myanmar, in Granta
Photographs of Isle de Jean Charles, taken by Elizabeth Rush:
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Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.