Blogging for a Healthy Gulf

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 2:41pm

Stop the PipelineRight now, our waterways, wildlife, wetlands and forests are at risk. Three out-of-state gas companies want to run over 600 miles of underground gas pipeline through Alabama, into Georgia and across dozens of Florida counties. This project will destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands and threaten scores of important waterbodies. Take action now to stop the Southeast Market Pipeline Project!

Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing a permit for the construction of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project. This project includes a labyrinth of pipelines - the longest and most destructive portion is the Sabal Trail pipeline. We need your voice – tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the Southeast Market Pipeline Project.

If approved, this project will cross 650 miles of land, cutting through mature wetland hardwoods, polluting communities, threatening sensitive...

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 4:19pm
Pearl River at Highway 90 Bridge in Pearlington.
Pearl River at Highway 90 Bridge in Pearlington.

This article is excerpted from Gulf Currents, GRN's printed newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here

As we change seasons in Mississippi, two recent announcements provide hope that maybe we are also seeing attitudes change about the importance of the fresh water provided by our coastal rivers to the Mississippi Sound.

In June, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) announced the release of the Governor’s Oyster Council final report of recommendations for improving the oyster industry. A few months later, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Restore Council) published its Draft Funded Priorities List (FPL), which will guide how a portion of BP disaster Clean Water Act fines are spent. Both documents list projects to restore or improve coastal habitats, including research on adequate river flow to coastal estuaries. The Oyster Council report calls for more information and research on “inland, the harmful...

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 3:21pm

Coast Note CoalLast week, over 150 people showed up at public hearing on RAM’s proposed coal export terminal to speak up for coast not coal – raising concerns about giant new exposed coal piles along the Mississippi River in Plaquemines, Parish, mile-long uncovered coal trains rolling through West Bank communities and coal dust and pollution in their communities and coastal restoration projects. Thank you if were among that number!

Even if you weren’t able to attend, you can still speak out for coast not coal by writing the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Comments on RAM’s coastal use permit application are only accepted until Monday afternoon, so take action now.

The proposed site for the RAM coal export terminal is directly adjacent to the future site of the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion – one of the premier coastal restoration projects...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 2:15pm
Gas Rig

After the BP disaster, the federal government made a lot of promises to Gulf residents – promises about ensuring safety compliance from the oil & gas industry and prioritizing environmental protection. Unfortunately, five years later, the federal agency in charge of monitoring the industry is shirking its commitment to the people of the Gulf.

Although the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement‘s (BSEE) website says they work “to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement,” the agency’s employees have been prevented from meeting that mission. As revealed in a recent story by David Hammer / Eyewitness Investigates, BSEE has failed to hire enough staff to do the work needed to effectively oversee the industry despite having the money to do so. Without timely investigation and enforcement, safety and pollution issues are not addressed, and the oil and gas industry is able to...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 6:04pm
A standing-room-only crowd filled the Belle Chasse Auditorium, in opposition to RAM's proposed coal-export terminal

Scores of concerned citizens packed the Belle Chasse Auditorium this past Thursday for a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public hearing on the proposed RAM coal export terminal.

As you may be aware, the RAM facility would be located near Wood Park, Myrtle Grove, and historic Ironton in Plaquemines Parish. It’d be the first regional terminal connected to rail, thereby introducing mile-long uncovered coal trains to the West Bank. RAM would sit adjacent to the site of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion as well, a major coastal restoration project from the state’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.

The standing-room-only crowd expressed overwhelming opposition to RAM’s application for a Coastal Use Permit. The prospect of dirty trains rumbling through communities raised countless public-health and quality-of-life concerns, especially those related to traffic, noise, and decreased property values.

Notably, individuals’ concerns also branched beyond the ‘not-in-my-backyard’ trope. Many attendees referenced the recurring losses of storm-buffering wetlands...

Monday, September 21, 2015 - 1:27pm

Congratulations to Jackie Rosen of Driftwood, TX!

Jackie won the Grand Prize Rediscover New Orleans package, which includes:

  • One night stay at The Hotel Modern with breakfast
  • Brunch for two at Coulis
  • A $200 gift certificate from Purloo for dinner
  • French Quarter walking tours with Hidden History
  • Handmade leather masks from the Mask Gallery
  • A $300 gift card for travel expenses

Thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle this year! Throughout the month of April, Aveda salons across the South raise funds and awareness for GRN’s water work. Selling raffle tickets, organizing fundraiser walks, and putting on fashion shows are just a few of the ways Aveda supports GRN during Earth Month. Aveda is a shining example of a green company that makes protecting our environment integral to the way they do business. Check out Aveda’s Earth Month site to view all of the other organizations they...

Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 4:00pm

Annual ReportHere it is - we finished the 2014 Annual Report and we could not be more pleased. Although GRN got a little behind on our reporting over these busy past years, we finally caught up.

Take a look at the 2014 Annual Report and reflect with us on an exciting year working to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico.

In the report, GRN looks back on the last two decades and celebrates the achievements made in our 20th year - we had some significant victories in 2014. We saw big wins in the Coast Not Coal campaign after communities across Louisiana came together to protect their coast and livelihoods from toxic coal export terminals.

And, after years of organizing, we won protections for the threatened bluefin tuna against surface longline fishing. In addition to this win, GRN committed to...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 3:31pm

Toast to the CoastIt’s that time of the year again – time for Gulf Restoration Network to celebrate our work and those who support us! Join GRN for our Annual Fall Benefit to support our work monitoring corporate polluters, organizing with communities for better storm protection and defending the creatures of the Gulf who rely on clean habitat.

This year, we’ll be celebrating 21 years of work protecting the Gulf with an incredible meal at Chef Susan Spicer’s famed restaurant provided by the staff of Mondo, Bacchanal and Gracious Bakery. You won’t want to miss this special evening featuring an engaging keynote from award winning journalist & oil and energy expert, Antonia Juhasz.

Join us to enjoy delicious food, an open bar, great company and wonderful live music .

Sunday, October 11th, 6-8pm
900 Harrison Ave
New Orleans,

Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 11:42am

coast not coalGiant new exposed coal piles along the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. Mile-long uncovered coal trains rolling through West Bank communities like Gretna and Belle Chasse. Coal dust and pollution in communities and coastal restoration projects. Those are some of the things we could look forward to if the proposed RAM coal export terminal is built. Next week, the state of Louisiana is holding a public hearing about RAM’s coastal use permit – join us to speak out for coast not coal!

What: Press Event and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Hearing on RAM’s Coastal Use Permit

When: September 17th (Thursday), press event at 5:30 pm and hearing at 6 pm.

Where: Belle Chasse Auditorium, 8398 LA-23, Belle Chasse, LA

Why: Stand up for community and coastal restoration by holding a sign at the...

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 2:04pm
Protect Louisiana's Rivers

Rivers like the Tchefucncte, Tangipahoa, and Bayou Cane that flow into Lake Pontchartrain hold a special place in the hearts of those that boat, canoe, kayak, swim and fish in them. Regretfully, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has proposed weakening the pollution standards that apply to these rivers, some of which are designated as Scenic Rivers. Take action now to safeguard Louisiana’s waterways.

Louisiana wants to cut the dissolved oxygen standard in half. This would mean that the fish, mussels, and other aquatic critters could have half as much oxygen to breathe. The standard that Louisiana proposes is troublingly close to what is deemed “hypoxic.” Hypoxic areas are considered to be Dead Zones where little to no life can survive. Take action now to protect Louisiana’s rivers!

The proposed standard is misguided and has little evidence to support a change that will affect almost all...