The Maroon launches environmental podcast

Macie Batson, Senior Staff Writer

The Maroon is launching its most recent podcast, “Engulfed”, on Tuesday Sept. 27, according to producer Rae Walberg.

The podcast, “Engulfed,” will release episodes over the course of four weeks, focusing on the ongoing environmental injustice and its impact on indigenous and creole communities. It will be available on the Loyola Maroon app, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. 

Each episode covers different injustices including land loss, Hurricane Ida, and the impacts of the Deepwater horizon spill. 

With Domonique Tolliver reporting, Rae Walberg producing, and Brendan Heffernan editing, this podcast sheds focus on problems that the majority of Louisiana residents face, while also spotlighting communities who are not typically heard from in mainstream media, Tolliver said. 

“To me, the people who create Louisiana’s culture, whether that be fishermen or indigenous or creole communities, are the people facing the brunt of climate change,” Tolliver said. 

The podcast will include various perspectives from residents affected by these concerns, as well as hearing from professionals to provide context for why these problems are happening.

The podcast’s producer Rae Walberg said that her eyes were opened during an investigation she conducted in Spring of 2021 on Rise St. James, a grassroots environmental group fighting against the entrance of a petrochemical plant. 

The plant’s emissions have been linked to stillbirths, lymphoma, and cancer, among other comorbidities, she said.

“It made me realize that this environmental injustice and racism was happening all across southeast Louisiana and needed to be reported on,” she said. 

According to Walberg, these challenges must be addressed because proper environmental policies are a matter of life and death for many residents in southeast Louisiana.

Walberg said she hopes that the podcast will inspire people to learn more about widespread environmental justice and, as a result, vote for legislation and candidates who focus on environmental problems.

“Everything is contingent on environmental issues,” she said, “Change can’t happen unless there is awareness.”