Blogging for a Healthy Gulf

 

Guest Blogger Patti Dunn is the founder of Tchoup Industries, a New Orleans company that hand-makes backpacks and bags with local and reused materials.

There are always difficult decisions to make in Louisiana when big oil money and jobs directly conflict with our local efforts to slow down land loss and preserve natural habitats. Most of us would love to have our cake and eat it too, which would be a lot easier if oil companies tapping into our gulf could commit to holding up their end of the bargain.

"No where on Earth is there such a living landscape, where 100 acres of new land emerges from the sea. It's this dynamism that makes the River Delta so fertile, and the Gulf so biodiverse. But we have lost so much because companies refuse to clean up their mess, and our government refuses to uphold the law."  
- Scott Eustis, coastal wetland...

 
One Lake Project - Flow and Nutrient Pollution Problems
"One Lake" project on Pearl River in Jackson, Ms.

In Mississippi alone, there are 98 discharge permits along the Pearl River from Hinds County downstream to Pearl River County closer to the river’s mouth. The Pearl is the Mississippi-Louisiana boundary in its lower reaches, and Louisiana manages a number of permits on its side of the Pearl River as well.  In Mississippi, permits required by the Clean Water Act, are granted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to city sewage treatment  plants, schools, housing subdivisions , chicken processors, slaughter houses, trailer parks, industrial parks and day care centers, to name a few. Each single discharger must treat its waste to certain standards before the effluent, mixed with water, can be returned to the Pearl or one of its tributaries. The largest permit holders such as city sewage plants may return 2-4 million gallons per day to the river, the smaller nursing homes or child care centers may...

 

Nearly half of our funding at GRN comes from from individuals like you. This is a big deal for two reasons:

1. It allows GRN the freedom to work on new, pressing issues as they arise
2. Grassroots fundraising like this has the power to build movements

GRN has members from all over the world, but most of our members in the Gulf South first hear about us through our outreach team. That's actually how I first heard about GRN! I joined the team in 2009 as a canvasser, talking to people on their doorstep about issues that effected their neighborhood, city and our Gulf. It was a long, hot summer pounding the pavement, but I waked away with skills that prepared me to become the Development Director here at GRN.

This spring, join the team! We are looking for dedicated individuals who enjoy talking to people about...

 

Come with us to Ship Island! We're sailing on March 19th and we want you on board.

Our boat party is the best way to get to the Island: Open bar, food and maybe a dolphin sighting on the boat ride over, all while raising money for Gulf Restoration Network!

Once you're on the island, take a guided tour, explore Fort Massachusetts or enjoy the white sandy beach of this national park. It's a day for the whole family, we want kids to see this beautiful place too.

Join us on Sunday, March 19th
1-6pm
Ship Island Excursions
Gulfport, Mississippi

If you can't make it to the island, join our afterparty bonfire at Ken Combs Pier from 6-9pm.

Bring friends and family - the price drops with each ticket you purchase!...

 
 
A recent editorial on an Energy Transfer Partners pipeline spoke to the benefits of the large crude oil export pipeline. These benefits are advertisements. What we need are solid promises written into a contract with the public in an Environmental Impact Statement. Pipeline advocates have ignored the cost to Louisiana--our economy and our land. Our wetlands and waters are much more valuable than the company has let on. Louisiana wetlands provide billions in ecological services like flood protection every year.

In Louisiana's coastal master plan, wetland forest is about $115,000 per acre to replace. This pipeline's damages are about $69 Million in trees alone. That's before accounting for flood damages. What will be the impact to drainage of removing and culverting many streams in Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Lafayette Parishes? What will be the added cost to the public for absorbing this new

...
 
The Beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin

Three permitting agencies have held two public hearings about one Bayou Bridge. January’s joint Army Corps and LDEQ hearing hosted over four hundred concerned citizens, for five and a half hours. Last week’s LDNR hearing lasted six! Now these agencies must deny Bayou Bridge’s water and wetland permits.

The crude oil pipeline has no place in coastal Louisiana. No public need exists for the pipe. The oil is for export and profit. Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 know this.

Despite continual claims from pipeline supporters about pipeline safety, reality persists. Just a day after LDNR’s hearing, a Phillips 66 pipeline in Paradis exploded during routine maintenance. Josh Helms of Thibodaux is presumed dead.

We also learned this past week about a neglected oil spill in the Atchafalaya Basin. Though the incident occurred in August, the operating company didn’t follow proper response protocol. Roughly half a...

 

Last month, GRN and Vanishing Earth flew with Southwings to check up on our coast and our Gulf.  The unreported oil we found was routine, and routinely frustrating. We also witnessed the river building new land, giving new cause for hope.

With the eagle eyes of Vanishing Earth, we spotted a sheen by the Poydras Energy Platform in Breton Sound.  Breton Sound has some of the highest density of oil spills in the United States, due to its rustbucket rigs.

Poydras Energy Partners

In this case, the company denied responsibility for the sheen.


With a simple "no", their word overrules our photograph. Without a liable party, there was no clean up of this oil. This kind of negligence, on the part of companies and the government, is 'business as usual.'

We spotted this sheen, and noted the time and location, and kept...

 

brydes whaleThe Gulf of Mexico is home to a great baleen whale – the critically endangered Bryde’s whale. Today, the Gulf’s great baleen whale population includes fewer than 100 individuals. Take action now to protect the Bryde’s whale!

Last month, we asked you to sign a petition to protect these magnificent creatures – today, we have another opportunity to ensure that our voices are heard. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), has reopened the comment period for an additional 15 days. These majestic whales need protection - tell NMFS to protect the Gulf’s great baleen whales.

The 2010 BP drilling disaster hit the Bryde’s whale population hard. Estimates state that the disaster killed nearly 20% of the Bryde’s whale population in the Gulf. The survival of the remaining whales are at risk from the Gulf’s active oil and...

 

Secretary Jack Montoucet, LDWF

The past year sure has been a whirlwind for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. New administrations, frustrated anglers, and plenty of disagreements have left newly-appointed Secretary Jack Montoucet with a sink full of dirty dishes. However, the newly appointed Secretary has a promising message to anyone concerned with the state’s wildlife and fisheries- “you have a seat at the table”.

That is what Secretary Montoucet told our group on Wednesday, February 1st around the ‘Avery Island’ at Bourbon House.  GRN’s Gulf Fish Forever campaign organized the meeting between LDWF and local chefs in order to have a conversation with the Secretary about how we will all move forward after a rocky 2016. Most will agree that things got ugly, and sometimes emotions got the better of those involved. However, Secretary Montoucet remains positive and is accepting his new position with open arms.

The Gulf Fish Forever campaign continuously...

 
Maurepas swamp

Today is World Wetlands Day, and we're proud to celebrate by announcing a new coalition - the Wetland Forest Initative - dedicated to conserving, restoring, and improving Southern wetland forests. Check out the press release below for more on this exciting new initiative. 


On World Wetlands Day, a diverse group of stakeholders have joined together to announce a major multi-state effort to conserve one of America’s most precious natural resources, wetland forests of the South. The Wetland Forest Initiative is a new, collaborative effort dedicated to conserving, restoring, and improving the condition of Southern wetland forests.

The initiative will work with landowners, communities, conservation organizations, and government agencies to create a future where there are abundant and healthy wetland forests for the benefit of local communities and native wildlife. A majority of wetland forests have been lost due to conversion to agriculture and real estate development in the last...

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Recent Posts

The Louisiana Senate will be voting on Senate Bill 132 within the next couple of...
Written by Matt Rota
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
In the lower Pearl River system of Mississippi and Louisiana, where the river forms the...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Clean water is not a partisan issue. Along with clean air and soil, water is...
Written by Matt Rota
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
In October of 2014 the Mississippi Phosphates Company in Pascagoula declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The...
Written by Howard Page
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Name : Troy Alfonso Hometown : Wood Lake, Louisiana Parish : St. Bernard Louisiana loses...
Written by Maris Jones
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Update: Great news! Rep. Richmond responded to all of your calls and emails by sending...
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Thursday, 11 May 2017
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Written by Natasha Noordhoff
Monday, 08 May 2017

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