Monitoring the Gulf by Land, Sea and Air

This articles is excerpted from Gulf Currents, GRN's printed newsletter. To read the rest of the Summer 2014 edition of Gulf Currents, click here.


Oil leaking from a submerged pipeline in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. April 11th, 2014. Photo: Jonathan Henderson, GRN. Flight provided by Southwings.org

Gulf Restoration Network is continuing our work to watchdog the impacts of the energy industry on the Gulf’s coastal environment.  In 2014 (as of June), GRN’s monitoring work had been featured on NPR, PBS Newshour, the Washington Post, Salon.com, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera, the Los Angeles Times, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Baton Rouge Advocate, the National Journal and numerous other media outlets. 

By June, GRN had also filed over 15 reports in 2014 with the National Response Center (NRC) for new leaks and spills discovered on monitoring trips. In fact, the US Coast Guard recently thanked me for my reports of sheens in Grand Bay and Quarantine Bay, saying that “[b]ecause of the two NRC reports received as a result of your over flight, we were able to take immediate action…Your efforts are very much appreciated and have played an instrumental role in the response actions taken.”

Photos of oil, gas and pipeline canals taken on monitoring trips have also been used extensively in the fight to hold the industry accountable for damages – including efforts to defend the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East’s lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for the damages they’ve caused to Louisiana’s natural storm defense system.

GRN thanks our members for supporting this monitoring work, our partner Southwings.org and their volunteer pilots for making many of the flights possible, and our other partners in the Gulf Monitoring Consortium. If you would like to donate equipment or sponsor a trip, please contact me at jonathan@healthygulf.org.

Jonathan Henderson is GRN’s Coastal Resiliency Organizer.