Higher Ground Podcast
Climate change is already here. On Long Island, communities must prepare, and people find ways to adapt to rising tides and extreme weather that threatens America's first suburbs. Higher Ground tells the stories of these communities exploring solutions that may or may not give them the best chance at survival and help save the places millions of people call home. Or they may discover that the only way forward for suburban America is retreating from the sea. Hosted and reported by J.D. Allen.
The historic bay houses of the Great South Bay speak to a long tradition of living by the water. Their designs contain forgotten knowledge for post-storm…
Hundred-year storms now topple Long Island's power system every few years. We trace the electric grid to find ways to become more climate resilient.…
Climate-resilient infrastructure can help turn the tide against pollution. Baymen also want to keep waterways clean with nature's filters — shellfish.…
Sea level rise threatens many popular Long Island downtowns. A seemingly crazy plan to move Main Street in the Hamptons could be a first, but surely it’s…
A day at the winery shows how Long Island agriculture is changing. As sea level rises, the health of the land where crops are grown is at risk. Farmers…
Some of our feathered friends are endangered and other seasonal birdwatching favorites might not stick around much longer unless humans become better…
Millionaires in the Hamptons may have the resources for the fight against the effects of climate change, but other communities more disproportionately…
Nature will eventually take its course — with our help or without it. If we are going to choose to live by the coast, the future will remain uncertain.…
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Episode 1 — Higher ground host J.D. Allen takes a tour around the bay houses of the Great South Bay with Nancy Solomon, founder of Long Island Traditions (not pictured). Her intern Ellie Dassler and the boat’s captain, Dan Pollera, have an affinity for the water: “It’s home.”
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Episode 4 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen and producer Sabrina Garone go to Montauk, New York, to discuss how this popular tourist spot in the Hamptons could possibly retreat from the coast with Alison Branco, coastal director at The Nature Conservancy, and Kevin McAllister, founder of Defend H2O.
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Episode 5 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen and producer Sabrina Garone go to Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue, New York, to speak with owner Kareem Massoud and Deborah Aller, soils expert at Cornell Cooperative Extension.
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Episode 7 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen goes to Mastic Beach, New York, to speak with Maura Spery, the former mayor of the short-lived village of Mastic Beach. It was formed in the early 2000s to better control its land, but recovering from Superstorm Sandy ran it to the ground. Now advocates, including Spery, Alison Branco, coastal director at The Nature Conservancy, and Emilia Brandimarte, a graduate of Mastic Beach high school and member of Students for Climate Action, want to save the community.
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Episode 7 — Producer Sabrina Garone speaks with Georgette Grier-Key, Brookhaven NAACP president, in Mastic Beach, New York, and environmentalists who want to make sure young people have a future in the community, and not be lost to climate change.
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Episode 6 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen goes to Lido Beach, New York, where the Audubon New York and Shelby Casas, coastal program director at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, is trying to save the endangered piping plover and other coast birds from rising tides and human intervention.
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Episode 8 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen hikes the Carmen’s River in Yaphank, New York, with Kevin McAllister, founder of Defend H2O, who wants the river and its surrounding wildlife to be able to return to nature out of harm's way of human intervention.
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Episode 8 — Higher Ground host J.D. Allen speaks with Suzy Goldhirsch, the president of the Fire Island Association, about climate resiliency of one of the region’s oldest communities: Point o' Woods on Fire Island, New York.
Talking Higher Ground
Below are interviews and further discussions related to the podcast.