Press Release | July 1, 2020

Broken Ground Podcast Launches New Season: Navigating Sea Level Rise in the South

The Southern Environmental Law Center explores how coastal communities are living with the rising Atlantic Ocean

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Broken Ground, a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), launches its new season focused on how Southerners are navigating sea level rise and more powerful storms along the coast. This season focuses on how the fallout of climate change is unfolding on the ground for communities, especially in Charleston, SC and Norfolk, VA, and unearthing how people and cities are working to protect themselves from the immediate and impending threats of rising tides.

“As we began production on this season, I knew we really wanted to understand and uncover what Southerners are experiencing on a daily basis when it comes to rising tides and stronger storms,” said Claudine Ebeid McElwain, host of Broken Ground. “What we’ve discovered is that finding a way to buy time, even temporarily, is the main concern on everyone’s mind as this battle against the clock plays out for people on the front lines.”

Over the course of five episodes, this season shines a light on events playing out along the South’s changing coastline and the people experiencing them. Through compelling stories, the podcast gives the mic to coastal communities impacted by rising sea levels and shares firsthand accounts of how people are working to address the problem of higher tides and preparing for the inevitable.

“One of the major things we found during production was that the underlying inequities in our society come rushing to the surface, just like the floodwaters,” said Ebeid McElwain. “However, we also learned that folks across the South understand the immediacy and inevitability of sea level rise and are determined to take action to meet this crisis head on.”

Broken Ground seeks to amplify the voices of communities, accidental environmentalists, and people facing extraordinary situations by sharing their personal stories. These first-hand accounts of Southerners show the real-life impacts of environmental policies for individuals and communities who, when forced to bear the brunt of bad decisions, often become unlikely heroes as a result.

“Hearing these powerful, dynamic stories first-hand cannot be matched by any legal brief or press release,” said Erin Malec, SELC’s Director of Communications. “Broken Ground takes us directly to the places and communities where these challenges and potential solutions are happening in real time, and helps us understand the many questions associated with the monumental and unprecedented challenge of sea level rise.”

Ahead of the second season, Broken Ground produced a series of bonus episodes featuring conversations with authors in the environmental movement, including Dr. Robert Bullard, who is considered the father of the environmental justice movement, and author and ornithologist J. Drew Lanham, who recently published The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.

Launched in April 2019, the inaugural season of Broken Ground explored energy decisions across the South. From the environmental and personal costs, to the ongoing threat of bad decisions, to our future possibilities, Broken Ground tells the stories of people at the heart of these matters.

Broken Ground can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever listeners get their podcasts.

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Broken Ground

Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the south that don’t always get the attention they deserve, and giving voice to the people bringing those stories to light.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

Press Contacts

Scott Smallwood

Director of Marketing

Phone: 404-521-9900
Email: [email protected]