The first week of December heralds the second installment of our 20 Victories for 20 Years series, a compilation of our cornerstone victories from two decades of environmental advocacy in the Gulf. Between 2006 and 2008, GRN tackled a range of vital campaigns, from preventing dangerous liquefied natural gas extraction in the Gulf to ensuring that big box stores stop selling garden mulch made from Louisiana cypress forests.
#6: Preventing Fish-Killing Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities in the Gulf
In 2006, GRN began to fight the development of fish-killing open loop liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals on the Gulf Coast. Each of these terminals would have sucked up over a hundred million gallons of Gulf seawater daily, destroying much of the sea life in that water. We worked with our partners in The Gumbo Alliance to successfully prevented two open-loop LNG terminals from being built off the coast of Alabama. In March of 2007, Shell announced that they would finally suspend their Gulf Landing LNG terminal project. In 2008, Alabama Governor Bob Riley vetoed the last remaining proposal for an offshore LNG facility in the Gulf.
#7: Protecting Florida’s Nature Coast
As part of our campaign to protect the habitat and wildlife along Florida’s Nature Coast, GRN maintains an ongoing campaign to prevent a proposed resort development in Pasco County called Sunwest Harbourtowne.The development would disrupt Fillman’s Bayou, a natural habitat for blue herons and Florida black bears, and degrade the coastal ecosystem. GRN beat back this development three times, assuring the Nature Coast of Florida will not see the creation of 60-foot wide, 4-mile long yacht mega-channel through sensitive seagrass beds. Also on the Nature Coast, GRN and our partners worked together to defeat the Magnolia Bay Resort and Marina in Taylor County. The project would have decimated 500 acres of wetlands and dredged a 2-mile long canal through the Big Bend Aquatic Seagrass Preserve, which is home to a variety of important fish and endangered species, including the Kemp’s Ridley turtle.
#8: Protecting The Red Snapper
GRN won a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service over their management of red snapper – forcing the agency to implement a rebuilding plan for red snapper using the best available science. After being overfished for decades, red snapper are recovering. Protecting spawning areas and putting sustainable catch limits in place will help ensure this valuable species can be enjoyed for generations to come.
#9: Telling the Corps and EPA to “Dump” the Yazoo Pumps
After hearing our many concerns, the EPA took the final step to veto the Yazoo Pumps Project, an antiquated Army Corps of Engineers project that would have destroyed over 200,000 acres of wetlands in Mississippi, including habitat for the endangered Louisiana black bear. This was only the twelfth time the EPA had ever vetoed a wetlands destruction project in the history of the Clean Water Act! It was also the culmination of more than 15 years of work at GRN and a collaborative effort with American Rivers, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club.
#10: Save Our Cypress
Up until 2008, loggers were clear-cutting Louisiana cypress forests to grind them into mulch. Why cut down our storm protection to decorate garden beds? That’s the question that GRN and our partners posed over a multi-year campaign that included days of actions in front of stores across the country, seafood boils outside these companies’ corporate headquarters, and thousands of petition signatures from supporters. Ultimately, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s all committed to no longer sell cypress mulch harvested from coastal Louisiana.
The third installment of the series will be out next week. To catch up on our first five victories, check out last week’s blog here.
Sarah Holtz is GRN’s Development Associate.