On Thursday, October 23rd, Gulf Restoration Network filed suit challenging the use of BP’s disaster restoration dollars for Alabama’s Beachfront Convention Center in Gulf State Park. To many, this should come as no surprise. For the last two years, GRN and our supporters have raised serious objections to this project as it’s not only wildly inappropriate for this this type of funding – it’s also a bad project that damages our environment and limits the public’s access to the beach in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach.
Blogging for a Healthy Gulf
After 20 years of working to protect and restore the Gulf, we have plenty to celebrate.
Last Sunday, GRN held our annual fall fundraiser at Chef Susan Spicer’s Mondo Restaurant. We toasted to GRN’s 20th and brought together many of GRN’s founding board members. Helen Gillet, a local jazz chanteuse, welcomed our guests with a beautiful set of cello music. Chef Susan Spicer, a former board member and longtime partner, served a delectable spread with help from the staff at Mondo and Chef Kristen Essig from Meauxbar.
After guests had a chance to mingle and browse our silent auction items, GRN’s Development Director Natasha Noordhoff welcomed everyone and honored both the founding board members and GRN’s first and only Executive Director, Cyn Sarthou, who spoke to the audience about GRN’s past, present, and future work to protect the coast, wildlife, and communities.
Across the nation, water and wetlands are threatened by pollution and destruction, and no one is more impacted by this than Gulf Coast residents. We swim in waters that begin as small streams, we drink water from rivers that flow from many miles away, we cast for fish that are spawned in the wetlands and we depend on wetlands to protect us from flooding.
Currently, some of our most fragile wetlands, creeks and rivers are not adequately protected against pollution and destruction. The EPA has proposed a rule to ensure Clean Water Act protections for these critical waters and wetlands across the country, but big polluters are dead set against it.
This coming Sunday we have an incredible celebration planned with music, food and drinks to benefit our coast. You can still get tickets to the Fall Fundraiser here. In addition to that, artists and businesses from all over Louisiana have donated gifts to our silent auction. Get your auction reflexes ready, here's the lineup:
If you're hungry...
Gift Certificates from Gautreau's, Mat & Naddies, Upperline, Atchafalaya & Jacques-imo's. Langlois Culinary Crossroads donated a package that combines a two-person wine-and-dine cooking class with Amy Sins' cookbook, Ruby Slippers. Also in the mix is a bottle of Tensley Syrah with Poppy Tooker's signed cookbook Louisiana Eats!
If you're artsy...
There's a framed print of Louisiana's flag by GRN's own Michael Hurst, a heron print by Pippin Frisbie-Calder, and Bird Soap by Matter Inc. two of Nancy Adams's garden inspired prints, a large painting of Annette Wiener's called Marshland Fantasy, and an etching of Louisiana on reclaimed cypress by Vincent Vumbaco.
Pompano tonight!! Café Carmo kicks off the Gulf Fish Forever Sustainable Seafood SpecialUs Restaurant Tour with three choices of Pompano. Pick your style:
- Shima sashimi – lightly marinated in the style of the Japanese tropical islands
- Tiradito – Peruvian style with aji Amarillo pepper sauce, toasted in corn kernels and red onion, or
- Creole spice and seared – seasoned with Carmo’s own creole spice and lightly torched.
The special will continue indefinitely with a portion of each dish donated to the Gulf Fish Forever Campaign.
Ongoing sustainable specials benefitting the Gulf Fish Forever Campaign can be found on SpecialUs.
Harry Lowenburg is GRN's Gulf Fish Forever Campaign Organizer...
We’re happy to report two pieces of good news about the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East’s efforts to hold oil and gas companies accountable for their role in Louisiana’s coastal land loss. Last week, a Judge ruled that Act 544, a law passed by the legislature that was designed to squash the Authority’s oil and gas accountability lawsuit, does not apply to the Flood Protection Authority.
In the other piece of good news, two weeks ago Paul Kemp was re-nominated to the Flood Protection Authority. Governor Jindal, who is opposed to the lawsuit, sought to replace a majority of board members, including Kemp, with individuals who share his view. Re-nominating Kemp ensures that a majority of the board members continue to support the suit.
The suit would hold the industry accountable for decades of drilling and dredging, which helped destroy the coastal marshes that...
This a guest post from our friends at Octavia Books, who are partnering with us to host Mike Tidwell for an upcoming presentation and book signing.
In partnership with the Gulf Restoration Network, we'll welcome Mike Tidewell when he returns to Octavia Books on Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:00 P.M. to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of BAYOU FAREWELL: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast.
The Cajun coast of Louisiana is home to a way of life as unique, complex, and beautiful as the terrain itself. As award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell journeys through the bayou, he introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that makes it unlike any other place in the world. But seeing the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, and whole cemeteries sinking into swampland...
Florida’s Nature Coast has some of the most beautiful and unique rivers, streams and springs in the world, but too many of these waterways are threatened by pumping and pollution. Take action today to urge state leaders to protect two of these amazing gems, the Chassahowitzka and Homosassa rivers.
The Chassahowitzka and Homosassa are both designated as Outstanding Florida Waters, deemed worthy of exceptional protection because of their ecological, social, educational and recreational value. Unfortunately, the Southwest Florida Water Management District is ignoring this designation and has adopted standards that would allow for the continued degradation of water quantity and quality in these rivers. A group of concerned citizens has already urged the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to step in, but so far FDEP has ignored their pleas.
The Gulf of Mexico is facing a serious threat – open ocean industrial fish farms – that could harm our fisheries, marine wildlife and the people who depend on them. Despite clearly voiced objections by thousands of fishermen and coastal residents, the federal agency responsible for management of the Gulf’s fisheries, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is finalizing rules to allow ocean fish farming in Gulf waters.
Open water fish farms have been associated with serious problems – pollution, increased parasites and diseases in wild fish, conflicts with fishermen and other ocean users, and interference with marine mammals and other wildlife. Plus, there are big concerns about how open water fish farms in the Gulf would hold up to hurricanes and tropical storms. Nonetheless, large fish farming...
Please enjoy this a guest blog by Richard Charter, Senior Fellow with The Ocean Foundation.
Right now, the Interior Department is revisiting their policies governing the disposal of old drilling rigs and other petroleum infrastructure throughout the federal waters of our Gulf of Mexico. When an oil company signs an offshore lease contract, that includes an obligation to return the seabed to is natural state once the rig has reached the end of its economic life. Americans have every right to expect that each company will keep its promise. With thousands of rigs due for decommissioning in the next few years, we can either decide to help restore the Gulf of Mexico to its former vitality, or allow it to become a junkyard of epic proportions.
"Bring Back the Gulf" is a new book released by The Ocean Foundation and The...