A football field. You just pictured one in your mind’s eye, didn’t you? What American hasn’t played on one, marched on one, cheered on one, or at least seen one on TV? Now you’re wondering what wetlands loss and football fields have to do with one another, right?
That same question sent WWNO Radio’s Coastal Reporter, Jessie Hardman, out to do a little pigskin homework, as it were. He tracked down the person who first coined the phrase in relation to wetlands loss, which was first heard in the early part of 2000: “Louisiana is losing a football field of wetlands every half hour.” In the process, he and his producer, Laine, took a ride down the bayou to visit with me and my friend, Steph, producer of a new documentary about Louisiana’s 100-year history with big oil.
In yesterday’s radio show piece about the origin of the football field analogy, Jessie revealed his findings and shareed poignant sound bites from several coastal residents about how they wrap their heads around the correlation between a football field and wetlands. It occurred to me this morning that many of the readers here might not have ever heard the comparative phrase before. Well, maybe it’s high time they did, and I can’t think of a better way to introduce y’all to yet one more way to measure the wetland loss here than by listening to what a public radio show reporter has to say about it.
I’m pleased to share their work with you, and it brings me great pleasure to know that WWNO public radio recognizes the need for education about Louisiana’s ongoing coastal land loss issues. Furthermore, I really enjoyed meeting Jessie and Laine, and I look forward to working with them on future pieces and other projects that shine a bigger spotlight on coastal land loss and restoration.
To update you on our weather down here. It’s CRAZY. The temp rose to 84 degrees yesterday, dropped to the low 50s this morning, and continues to drop with wind gusts up to 40 mph. I’m sure plenty of you are experiencing freezing rain, sleet, or snow. Well, I’m sorry about that for you, and I do not envy you one little bit. Not one!
So, I leave you with the short audio clip of the radio show and a link to WWNO’s website so you can read the transcript of the show if you would like.
Stay warm, my friend!
PS: Just a little trivial tidbit about Jessie’s photo: This is the same area of cypress that I’ve referred to in past posts and is also the inspiration for the illustration on the back cover of my first book. Thirty years ago, the cypress trees in this grove were so thick, I couldn’t see through them – and now, most have fallen to muddy graves, their brittle skeletons no longer able to stand.
Once beautiful sentinels of the swamp.
In my children’s lifetime.