Blogging for a Healthy Gulf

 

 

 

Chef Ryan Prewitt of Peche set a new standard for seafood in New Orleans winning two James Beard Awards in 2014: Best Chef: South and Best New Restaurant in America. On a busy Saturday night, you can find Chef Ryan whizzing around the kitchen making sure every detail is handled. From filleting giant tuna collar and whole redfish to making sure every shrimp that leaves the kitchen is prepared to perfection, Chef Ryan’s respect for seafood is apparent in every dish. His passion for sustainability doesn’t stop at the dinner table. He dives deep into the world of local, sustainably sourced seafood by working with GRN to protect Gulf Fish Forever. 

Last November, Chef Prewitt traveled to D.C. with GRN to talk with congresspeople about the short-sighted Red Snapper Management Authority Act. This legislation would have ignored the best available science for rebuilding red snapper populations...

 

Restoration along the Pearl River is on many people’s minds these days, on several fronts. My recent opinion letter in The Advocate makes the case that the desire for lake development in Jackson, Mississippi will work against ongoing and needed river restoration. One of the best recent pieces of news for the river is the Pearl Clean Sweep: a volunteer cleanup led by the new Pearl Riverkeeper over the Pearl’s full 390 miles on September 23rd.


In 2016 the pathway was opened for the State of Louisiana to take over the Pearl River Navigation Canal and remove sills. The 2016 Congressional Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 2016) made this possible with the canal’s de-authorization by the Corps of Engineers.


In 2016 one of the early NRDA BP settlement funded projects began rebuilding marsh and oyster reef at Heron Bay, just east of the Pearl River’s...

 
Greetings from Christian and Dustin
Greetings from Christian and Dustin

In the last couple of months, Gulf Restoration Network has been sad to say goodbye to some members of our team, and happy to welcome new folks.

In August, Jordan Macha, GRN’s Gulf Policy Analyst ended her time with the GRN. Jordan was lead on all things post-BP restoration. Although we will miss her, we congratulate her on becoming Executive Director of Bayou City Waterkeeper and look forward to working with her in that capacity! With the recent devastation of Hurricane Harvey, her work as a Waterkeeper in the Houston area is more important than ever.

We were also saddened by the departure in June of Shona Clarkson, GRN’s Communications Director. However, we are excited to welcome Dustin Renaud as our new Communications Director. Dustin was born and raised in...

 

 

This blog series has covered a variety of corals that live in the Gulf of Mexico. These corals are an amazing natural resource for the Gulf, but they are also under threat. Right now, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering extending new protections to 15 deepwater coral sites in the Gulf. An additional eight areas were identified as unique or important sites, but were not given any fishing regulations which would protect the corals - the logic being a lack of regulations due to a lack of current fishing efforts.

Many of the images used in this blog series have come from expeditions in the Gulf that is exploring these sites. More images of deep sea corals may be coming soon as there is currently an expedition off the Florida coast - live footage can be found...

 

Before Congress went on recess, Rep. Graves and Sen. Cassidy, both of Louisiana, introduced identical bills in the House and the Senate nicknamed the RED SNAPPER Act of 2017 - a coy acronym for the bills’ significantly lengthier full name: Regionally Empowered Decision-making for Snapper, Noting the Angling Public and the Preservation of an Exceptional Resource Act (H.R. 3588).

The bills propose extending states’ power to regulate the recreational red snapper fishery out to 25 miles or 25 fathoms, whichever is greater, while leaving commercial and charter-for-hire regulations as they are, in the hands of the federal government past the 9 mile mark.

One reason the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Marine Fish Service (NMFS) were established was to eliminate the need for exactly what is being proposed by Rep. Graves and others. The...

 

 

 

The Gulf Coast is no stranger to hurricanes, and we are well-versed in helping our neighbors recover. Hurricane Harvey is proving to be an unprecedented storm that is going to take a lot of effort from many individuals and organizations to fully recover. While search and rescue efforts are ongoing and will be for several days, there are many ways you can help worthwhile organizations who are doing great work right now. We’ve assembled a list of organizations who need your help. Many first response organizations are already on the ground and need financial donations, supplies, or volunteers. There is a way for everyone to help!

We have put together a list of organizations that are helping the most vulnerable populations in the area: children, abandoned pets, the disabled, and partners focused on environmental justice. Please take a moment and support our coastal...

 

Sea pens (order Pennatulacea), with around 300 species, can be found as deep as 20,000 feet in almost all oceans.  Generally found in large fields, this order is one of few to have species in the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica. Having varying appearances, sea pens can range in color from orange to yellow to white, with some capable of emitting a bright greenish light when stimulated.

These octocorals, related to sea whips and sea fans , have a unique form - their central stalk, known as the primary polyp, is a modified polyp that has lost its tentacles and developed a water-filled bulb at its base to anchor the animal (image, left). Secondary polyps branch from the primary polyp and have specialized functions including capturing food, reproducing, and ventilating the colony by controlling water flow. This trait...

 
Flooding in the French Quarter
Deluge rain events have brought flooding to New Orleans neighborhoods twice in the last month.

 

"If a little rain can flood us, what will a hurricane do?" – Public Comment, City Council Meeting

Public confidence in New Orleans’ ability to manage stormwater has eroded in the wake of the latest Gulf Deluge. From Houston to Acadiana, from Livingston to St. Petersburg, bad governance worsens natural risks of flood water damaging residents’ property. As the past two weeks have unfolded, it has become more and more apparent that the institutions and infrastructure that are supposed to protect New Orleanians from flooding are both in need of a dramatic overhaul.

 

  • On July 22nd, there was flash flooding in Mid-City and Lakeview. Rain soaked Gentilly.

 

  • ...
 

Sea fans, sea whips and bamboo coral are all members of the order Alcyonacea, one of three orders of octocoral. There are many other types of coral in this order, but these three are common and interesting deep sea dwelling organisms. Keeping all these corals straight can be confusing because this same order was previously known as Gorgonacea, so corals in the order are commonly referred to as gorgonian corals. 
 
Alcyonacea most commonly occur as branching corals that look like plants, with a main trunk and branching stems (left (white), with an orange crinoid). Ranging from large fleshy masses to smaller feathered-pen-looking organisms, this family of corals is among the most diverse of deep sea corals and are united by having bony skeletons.
 
There are a number of sites in the Gulf that have uniquely...

 
Do not let Trump kill the Clean Water Rule

Trump's EPA is trying to remove valuable protections for our rivers, streams, and wetlands!

The Clean Water Rule provides common sense protections for streams and wetlands across the country. It protects drinking water sources for nearly 1 in 3 Americans. It protects wetlands throughout the nation that filter pollutant, absorb floodwaters, dampen storm surge and provide habitat for countless wildlife. It was a no-brainer supported by millions of Americans and backed by science. 

But that is all at risk nowTake action to protect our water.

The Trump administration wants to roll back these protections.  We can't let that happen. Make your voice heard - send a message to EPA today. Tell Administrator Scott Pruitt: Hands off our water.

Clean Water is essential to human health, vital to healthy communities, and necessary for a robust economy.  We rely on these small streams for drinking water and these wetlands...

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Recent Posts

Chef Ryan Prewitt of Peche set a new standard for seafood in New Orleans winning...
Written by
Monday, 11 September 2017
Restoration along the Pearl River is on many people’s minds these days, on several fronts...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Monday, 11 September 2017
In the last couple of months, Gulf Restoration Network has been sad to say goodbye...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 07 September 2017
This blog series has covered a variety of corals that live in the Gulf of...
Written by Hannah Leis
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Before Congress went on recess, Rep. Graves and Sen. Cassidy, both of Louisiana, introduced identical...
Written by Hannah Leis
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
The Gulf Coast is no stranger to hurricanes, and we are well-versed in helping our...
Written by
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Sea pens (order Pennatulacea ), with around 300 species, can be found as deep as...
Written by Hannah Leis
Friday, 25 August 2017

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