Smarty Pants Podcast

Letter From Underwater

Facing rising sea levels on our own shores

By Stephanie Bastek | June 15, 2018
Daniel Oines/Flickr

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:


Photographs of Isle de Jean Charles, taken by Elizabeth Rush:


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