WAMU 88.5 :

Mississippi Gulf Coast -- Defending The Gulf

After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were forced to come together to deal with the aftermath. Then, just as they were starting to get back on their feet, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of barrels of oil into the water just off their shores. Cumulatively, these events have made environmentalists out of a whole lot of Gulf Coast residents who may not have considered themselves as such. We tell an hour of stories about the fight for the natural world Gulf Coast bringing residents together, both with one another and with unlikely partners—and how, in some instances, that fight is turning out to be exactly what a community needed to survive.

Segment A
We open this episode on the beach… and hear a series of voices, reciting the variety of landscapes in this part of Mississippi, from bayous and beaches to creeks and rivers. Then we travel to Turkey Creek, where a historic African-American community fights for its survival with the unlikely allies of rare birds and the Audubon Society.

Segment B
We wrap up the story of Turkey Creek with a consideration of the racial dynamics at play in this part of Mississippi, and how they factor into the way things have evolved. Then we hear a letter from Gulf Coast resident Kara Bachmann and talk to residents combing the beach for sea turtle strandings they fear are related to the oil spill.

Segment C
Shrimping after the spill. Fisherman continue to struggle in the wake of the BP Oil Spill and are still struggling to have their financial devastation recognized by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Then, former spill cleanup workers fight for recognition of what they believe are oil-exposure-related health problems. Finally, we hear from residents fighting to preserve the Gulf, and their way of life.

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