MEDIA TIP SHEET- June 2007
The Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) is a diverse network of groups and individuals committed to
uniting and empowering citizens to protect and restore the valuable natural resources of the Gulf of
Mexico. The GRN was founded in 1994 and has members in all five Gulf states. Since Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita, many of the issues the GRN and our member groups address have been thrust into the spotlight.
SAVE OUR CYPRESS: The Cypress Mulch Industry Destroys Coastal Louisiana
Background: Along the Gulf Coast, cypress-tupelo swamps are natural hurricane barriers and provide
important habitat for wildlife, including endangered species like the ivory billed woodpecker and
Louisiana black bear. The cypress mulch industry has become an imminent threat to this iconic
ecosystem. Entire swamps are being clear-cut solely to be turned into garden mulch. Scientists have
concluded that many cypress swamps will not regenerate once cut. While the nation looks to invest
billions in the restoration of Louisiana’s wetlands and rebuilding of population centers, it is imperative
that coastal forests are protected.
News opportunity: The Save Our Cypress Coalition, spearheaded by local members of the Waterkeeper
Alliance, GRN and others are pressuring big box home retailers Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Home-Depot to
drop the sale of cypress mulch. On June 7, Waterkeeper Alliance will hold a New Orleans press
conference on the issue featuring their President Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Louisiana community leaders.
On June 12, the GRN will launch a humorous internet flash animation spoofing Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and
Home Depot, pointing out the inconsistency between the continued sale of cypress mulch and those
corporations environmental statements and policies.
Contact: Dan Favre, Campaign Organizer, at 504-525-1528 ext.209 or email@example.com.
EVERY FISH COUNTS: End Red Snapper Overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico
Background: Red snapper populations in the Gulf of Mexico are at three percent of historical levels. Fun
to fish for and popular on restaurant menus, red snapper have been depleted for decades. Despite the
dangers of continued overexploitation and scientific recommendations for rebuilding the fishery,
significant changes to management were not guaranteed until a federal district court sided with the GRN
and other conservation groups in a March, 2007 decision.
News Opportunity: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is meeting in New Orleans June
4-7. As the advisory body to the National Marine Fisheries Services, it is expected to lower the total
allowable catch of red snapper to 5 million pounds through a variety of new policy options.
Contact: Aaron Viles, Campaign Director, at 504-525-1528 ext.207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEALTHY WATERS: Action Needed on Gulf Dead Zone
Background: Every summer a hypoxic area forms in the Gulf of Mexico, extending from the mouth of
the Mississippi River as far West as Texas. This Dead Zone is caused by excess nutrients carried into the
Gulf by the Mississippi River which fuel massive algae blooms. As the algae die, they sink and
decompose, consuming available oxygen, and creating a massive, lifeless area that should be teaming
with shrimp, crabs and the rest of the Gulf’s historic fisheries.
News Opportunity: The Hypoxia Task Force will be meeting in New Orleans June 12, and will be
reassessing their Action Plan, which so far, has generated very little action, due in large part to a lack of
state and federal funding. This meeting will feature a call from conservation and fishing groups for real
action to limit nutrient pollution and shrink the Dead Zone.
Contact: Matt Rota, Water Resources Program Director, at 504-525-1528 ext.206 or email@example.com.
HEALTHY GULF: GRN Opens Florida Office, Expands Gulf Staff
Background: With two board members from every Gulf of Mexico state, the GRN has long been the
only conservation organization focused solely on the health of the Gulf of Mexico. Physically based in
New Orleans since the organization’s founding in 1994, the GRN has been able to be actively involved in
Louisiana and Mississippi environmental issues such as water quality and wetlands protection, and
regional issues such as fisheries management.
News Opportunity: The GRN is proud to announce the hiring of their Florida Program Coordinator and
the opening of the organization’s first field office, in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Longtime
environmental organizer Joe Murphy will be filling the position. Joe is a native Floridian who grew up on
the Gulf Coast of Florida and now lives in Hernando County, Fl. with his wife and three dogs. Joe has
worked on conservation and coastal issues as an advocate and community organizer in Florida since 1990,
working for groups like the Sierra Club, Florida PIRG, the Endangered Species Coalition, and Oceana.
Joe also volunteers with the Hernando Audubon Society and Florida Defenders of the Environment. He
enjoys kayaking and fishing along the Gulf Coast of Florida, and is always looking for an excuse to spend
time along Florida's Nature Coast.
Contact: Joe Murphy, Florida Program Coordinator, at 353-583-0870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.