Blogging for a Healthy Gulf

 

Hexacorals are the second subclass that contains corals (and if you missed reading about octocorals, it can be found here).  As their name suggests, many have six (“hexa”) tentacles, instead of eight, though hexacorals with both eight and ten tentacles exist.

Including species from stony corals (or true corals) to sea anemones, there is more range in the appearance of these corals than there are in octocorals. Some, like stony corals, have hard skeletons and look like the corals common in shallow water.  Other types of hexacorals may occur as a single large polyp attached to the substrate through one long stocks, or they are deep sea anemones that look like hybrids of species we are familiar with, like the anemone to the left that has a similar appearance to a Venus-fly trap.

The hexacoral subclass includes the following orders:...

 

It’s summertime, and while many Gulf residents are retreating to cooler climes or just doing everything they can to keep cool in their hometowns, things are heating up here at Gulf Restoration Network. That’s because we have an amazing crew of new organizers and interns working with us this summer on our Gulf Fish Forever and Flood Less New Orleans campaigns, as well as our Science and Policy program. Let me introduce you to the team: 

Adia HeisserAdia

I’m a New Orleans native, majoring in Public Health and Environmental Studies at Tulane University. I’m interning on GRN’s Flood Less New Orleans campaign in Gentilly. My motivation for this work stems from personal experiences with the dire repercussions of unsustainable urban and energy industry development, but also from the spirit of resiliency so deeply rooted within my community. Through my...

 

This second post (if you missed the first one it can be found here) will focus on one of the two subclasses (class Anthozoa) of corals present in the Gulf of Mexico, octocorals. This subclass includes most Octocoralcorals except stony corals and black corals, which are hexacorals.  Many octocorals share similar traits: most are non-reef building, but they can provide vertical relief over areas that are otherwise soft bottoms, such as sandy bottoms. In general, octocorals tend to have large, erect frames that stretch up into the water column above the substrate, but they can also occur as smaller forms, as demonstrated by the two octocorlas found living on a deep sea chimney in the image to the left. Being above the seafloor and in the water column allows the polyps to more easily capture food from...

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell capped off Trump’s “Energy Week” by announcing a new energy bill that would speed approval of exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). We need your help to stop this destructive bill.
 
The vast majority of proposed new LNG export facilities - almost 30 - would be in Gulf states, which means Gulf communities will bear the brunt of accidents, explosions, and pollution that come with this dirty energy.
 
We say NO! Stand with us to stop this dirty energy bill.
 
This 891 page bill, which just dropped last week, is being brought to the floor without going through committee and before people have a chance to read it. 
 
What’s even more astounding is that the bill’s “Renewables” section ignores solar and wind. They aren’t even mentioned!

For too long, the Gulf has been the nation’s energy...

 
Flooded homes August 2016

Last August's flood broke the hearts and homes of many in the Baton Rouge area. But some of the water was once stored in our local rivers and wetlands. Reckless development has pushed that water onto homes that haven't flooded before.
 
Most homes flooded in the city of Central. And in the past year, Central has a seen 3 large flood events. These intense flood events show that current drainage is inadequate. So new developments should at least follow Central's master plan. The city wrote the master plan to ensure that the drainage system would work. But some developments are so careless that they build right into water-storing wetlands. 
 
This squeezes water out of wetland forests and onto older homes. 
 
For that reason Central residents have opposed The Lakes at Woodland Grove. This development does not follow the city’s Master Plan, which limits flood risks. It would even...

 

The fight to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline continues. Most recently, GRN and a host of allies filed suit against Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR). You may have read about it in this NOLA.com article, but here is the press release:
 
St. James citizens and advocacy groups are suing the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) for violating the Louisiana Constitution when it issued a Coastal Use Permit to Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC and refused to evaluate the negative environmental impact on the majority African American residents of St. James, Louisiana, who are surrounded by crude oil terminal facilities, pipelines and associated industry. The Petitioners, represented by Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, include H.E.L.P. (Humanitarian Enterprise of Loving People) Association, a community based organization in St. James at the terminus of the proposed pipeline, Gulf Restoration Network, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and Bold Louisiana.
 
LDNR issued the Coastal Use...

 

Welcome to GRN’s deep sea coral (DSC) blog series! Each week, I will bring you a new species of DSC to learn about, and often a species of fish or other marine organism that is associated with DSCs. There are already over 3,300 species of DSC that have been discovered by scientific expeditions, with new ones being identified and named with each trip.

Unfortunately, deep sea corals in the Gulf are under threat from warming waters, oil spills like the BP disaster, certain fishing methods, and other factors. Right now, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering new protections for some of our most precious corals. We’ll keep you informed on how you can play an active role in protecting these corals.

Before we start with specific species of DSCs, here is some background about these animals. 

  • Coral are in fact animals! Coral structures can be as small as
  • ...
 
Protect Louisiana's Scenic Rivers!
Protect Scenic Rivers like the Amite!

The Louisiana Senate will be voting on Senate Bill 132 within the next couple of hours. This bill would change the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act to allow unlimited dreding and clearing in some of our Scenic Rivers, including the Amite River, Pearl River, Tchefuncte River, Bogue Falaya River, Abita River, Comite River, and Bayou Manchac.

Dredging and clearing can increase flooding. As this bill is written, the state would not be allowed to evaluate and reject proposals that would damage property, public assets like bridges and roads, and the wildlife that depend on our Scenic Rivers. This is bad bill that seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist. In fact, during the House hearing, no situation in which scenic streams permitting had been a problem could be cited

Simple changes to the current bill could maintain the process to properly address permit applications with the information needed to make the assessment and decision.

Call on...

 
Lower Pearl River swamp from the air
Lower Pearl River Swamp from the air. Bonny Schumaker/On Wings of Care.

In the lower Pearl River system of Mississippi and Louisiana, where the river forms the state boundary, there are long-awaited positive things happening. Approved and funded projects to study and restore river function and improve coastal habitats near the Pearl’s mouth are under way or planned in both states. This is why the news of a proposed new dam and lake project upstream in Jackson is so disheartening. The river is finally receiving some restoration attention at its lower end, and unfortunately but predictably, a private/public partnership is about to unveil plans for building another dam on it in Jackson which will make river management more complicated downstream. The Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District is sponsoring and studying the “One Lake” project, and the non-profit Pearl River Vision Foundation is raising private and public money for environmental impact studies, and running political interference for the project...

 

Clean water is not a partisan issue. Along with clean air and soil, water is a necessity for our communities, commerce and literally all life. Regretfully the Trump administration believes that laws enacted to protect our water from sewage, lead, mercury and other pollutants may be ‘burdensome.’ What they mean is they are considering putting money before health and environment.

Responding to Executive Order 13777, the Environmental Protection Agency is asked the public to give feedback on regulations “that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome.”

Our response is that clean water is not a burden and we must retain the EPA protections that preserve our health, communities, industries, municipalities, families, recreation, and wildlife. This this sentiment has been echoed by tens of thousands of people responding to EPA’s request. This includes 1,330 of our e-supporters that told EPA to...

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Recent Posts

Hexacorals are the second subclass that contains corals (and if you missed reading about octocorals,...
Written by Hannah Leis
Thursday, 20 July 2017
It’s summertime, and while many Gulf residents are retreating to cooler climes or just doing...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
This second post (if you missed the first one it can be found here )...
Written by Hannah Leis
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell capped off Trump’s “Energy Week” by announcing a new energy...
Written by Natasha Noordhoff
Monday, 10 July 2017
Last August's flood broke the hearts and homes of many in the Baton Rouge area...
Written by Scott Eustis
Monday, 03 July 2017
The fight to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline continues. Most recently, GRN and a host...
Written by Natasha Noordhoff
Monday, 03 July 2017
Welcome to GRN’s deep sea coral (DSC) blog series! Each week, I will bring you...
Written by Hannah Leis
Thursday, 29 June 2017

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