The Gulf Restoration Network is committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region.
The Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a natural, economic, and recreational resource that is central to the culture and heritage of five states and several nations. The people of the region will be stewards of this vital but imperiled treasure, and assume the responsibility of returning the Gulf to its previous splendor.
In December of 1994, representatives from various conservation organizations across the Gulf of Mexico held a meeting at Four Mile Village, Florida, to discuss the need for, and interest in, forming a Gulf-wide coalition. On June 3, 1995, these representatives met in St. Petersburg, Florida to plan the GRN.
At this meeting, members determined the seven priority issues of the network:
- Stopping pollutant discharges;
- Reducing polluted runoff;
- Reducing Corps of Engineers' permitting and projects destructive of the environment;
- Requiring sustainable management of Gulf fisheries;
- Limiting coastal development, beach armoring, and resulting habitat destruction;
- Protection of threatened and endangered species; and
- Limiting development of offshore mineral resources.
Then, on August 29, 1995, the existence of the Gulf Restoration Network was formally announced through simultaneous press events in New Orleans and Tampa.
In the beginning, the GRN operated as a project of the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (formally the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), receiving financial and staff assistance from that organization. Our first Campaign Director, Cynthia Sarthou, was hired in October of 1995. Then in 1998, having become more firmly established and having grown to over 40 members, the GRN became an independent corporation and obtained 501(c)(3) status.
Since 1998, the GRN has grown in staff to our current size of almost 20 staff and numerous interns and volunteers. We have evolved from a network of member organizations held together by one staff person, to a unique independent organization that runs our own campaigns while strategically partners with member and non-member groups to advance issues of Gulf-wide importance.
We have engaged citizens around the country in our efforts through individual membership and our e-alert action network. Please see our Victories page for information on our recent strategic partnerships that have resulted in improved protections for the Gulf. Click here to join our e-alert action network and be part of the solution of protecting and restoring the resources of the Gulf Coast.
Role of GRN
The GRN's vision is that the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a natural, economic, and recreational resource that is central to the culture and heritage of five states and three nations. The people of the region will be stewards of this vital but imperiled treasure, and they will assume the responsibility of returning the Gulf to its previous splendor.
Within this vision, we see the mission of the GRN as one of uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the resources of the Gulf Region for future generations. To this end, the GRN works to provide technical support and mentoring to grassroots groups, to connect our members to developments on national and regional issues of importance to their work, and to provide coordination, when needed, of member activities across the region.
The GRN's staff also pursues campaigns on priority issues affecting the entire Gulf region, including water quality, wetlands, sustainable fisheries, smart energy, hurricane rebuilding, and species-at-risk. The GRN partners with other organizations on common initiatives within these arenas. The GRN also engages individuals through information sharing, publications and an e-mail action alert network. In this way, the GRN intends to play a pivotal role in providing our members and others with the technical information, Gulf-wide networking opportunities, and communication that will empower them to successfully address the environmental threats that the Gulf faces.