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Meteorologist Daniel Phillips wins Suncoast Emmy for the Environment and Science category

Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-12 01:40:13-05

LAFAYETTE — KATC Meteorologist Daniel Phillips won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award Saturday night for a special report in the Environment and Science category for his package, Fading Away.

Phillips' report about Louisiana's extensive battle against coastal erosion takes an in-depth look into Louisiana's complicated state that makes it vulnerable to erosion and subsidence, and the endangerment it puts on the lives of local people.

"A mixture of saltwater intrusion and sinking land has contributed to one of the fastest disappearing places on the planet, and an existential threat to the state itself..." he begins.

Fading Away: A KATC Special Report

That existential threat the state is in has much to do with the powerful force of the Mississippi River and the sea level rise of the gulf on its edge.

With houses in vulnerable areas historically known as flood plains, and the endangerment that the oyster industry faces has not made the solutions an easy fix.

Fading Away took the prize from 12 other nominations in that category on some very big topics, even topics we didn't quite understand before and during the pandemic.

Some of the nominations were for stories like saving sea turtles to Cancer Alley to corona-virus deaths affecting the air we breathe.

Phillips tells us why coastal erosion is such a serious topic in this category, "The topic is so big and overwhelming story that needs to be told because there's so many moving parts. I am very passionate about the outdoors, camping and hiking, and nature is in trouble. It needs someone to advocate for it; someone to speak up for it."

And so Daniel Phillips did. He kept his word, and the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Florida recognized his efforts as Fading Away stands in the forefront of its category from markets around Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

As Chantel Comardelle, of Isle de Jean Charles Tribe, said of Louisiana's coastal battle against erosion, "It's a cancer slowly eating it away and you can see it every time you go."

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