Coasts & Communities

Coasts & Communities

Photo credit: NOAA/Flower Garden Banks NMS

The wonders and challenges of the Gulf’s coast are as complex as the intricate ways the land meets the sea. Gulf Restoration Network’s work spans issues ranging from holding BP accountable for the its drilling disaster to helping restore the coastal lines of defense the protect our communities from storm surge and sea level rise.

Much of our work revolves around the consequences of our country’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels. The BP drilling disaster was terrible but predictable, not the first or last time risky offshore energy extraction and poor government regulation would collide. Despite that catastrophe few meaningful industry reforms have been implemented, and BP continues to resist making things right.

As billions of dollars in fines from the BP drilling disaster flow to the Gulf. GRN will ensure that these funds are spent rebuilding communities and restoring the Gulf, not on pork-barrel spending.

While the Gulf’s people, wildlife and ecosystems are resilient, we have made too many choices which are unsustainable. Climate change-fueled rising seas, more severe weather and ocean acidification all make a sustainable and resilient Gulf coast more challenging. To respond, GRN is working with communities to adapt to changing conditions by reducing flood risk, managing stormwater better and restoring our natural coastal “lines of defense” such as barrier islands, saltwater marshes and cypress forests. 

Read more about GRN’s work on these issues below: 

Flood Less New Orleans

From the impacts of climate change to our rapidly disappearing coastal wetlands, few places outside of the Greater New Orleans area face bigger challenges when it comes to living with water. These challenges are also an opportunity: the New Orleans area can act as an example for other coastal communities across the world by charting a new path that will make our communities more more

Florida's Nature Coast

Florida has seen tremendous changes in the last century. In many places, the Florida that existed just 50 years ago is long gone...Yet, for all that is lost, there is great hope for the places that remain wild and free. Florida’s Nature Coast is such a more

Louisiana's Coastal Lines of Defense

Louisiana’s barrier islands, salt marshes and cypress forests are all part of our natural coastal lines of defense that protect coastal communities from storm surges and flooding. Every 3-4 miles of coastal wetlands reduces storm surge by 1 foot. But the state’s coast is in crisis, losing a football field of wetlands each more.   

Restoration and the BP Disaster

On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana killing eleven people and initiating the largest environmental disaster in America’s history. In the following months, over 200 million gallons of oil and almost 2 million gallons of toxic chemical dispersants were released into the Gulf of Mexico. Five years later, the communities and ecosystem of the Gulf Coast continue to feel the impacts of the BP drilling more.