Everyday a critical piece of the Gulf region’s natural resources is destroyed – our wetlands! What I find most disturbing is that the very thing we are destroying is what makes our communities healthy, attractive, and sustainable. In many respects, it is the only reason why we exist. Scientific evidence points to the necessity of these ecosystems for the environmental health of our region, yet day by day we chip away at them. How long can this continue?!I’m writing to ask for your support today because the Gulf of Mexico has lost approximately 50% of its historic wetlands, and those remaining are under increasing threat.This rampant wetland loss is due to many reasons, most of which are caused or exacerbated by human influence. Some of the causes of wetland loss include:oil and gas canalsconstruction and run-offsalt water intrusionsubsidencesea level risehurricanes and other stormsloggingThis year brought us a very active hurricane season and Gulf Coast communities were once again reminded of the delicate balance between our development footprint and healthy communities and ecosystems. Wetlands provide natural flood protection and every 3 to 4 miles of intact wetlands can reduce storm surge by 1 foot! Wetlands help to keep our waters clean by acting as natural filters and are home to the myriad of diverse and unique plants and creatures that make the Gulf Region so special.Wetland destruction is threatening the health of our communities and the consequences reverberate through Gulf ecosystems affecting: water quality, endangered and at-risk species, and nursery and breeding grounds for our commercial fishing industry.No matter what the cause, we cannot afford to stand by while the most fundamental elements of the economic and environmental health and safety of our communities are filled in or washed out from under us.GRN advocates for the protection of our wetlands through:monitoring wetland destruction permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,preventing the clear-cutting of coastal forests,watch-dogging state and federal agency actions affecting wetlands , andsupporting efforts to build resilient and sustainable communities post-hurricane.This is why your support is so important. The future of the Gulf Region lies in the hands of individuals like you and me who simply cannot sit by and watch while our community’s most precious natural resources are destroyed. The Gulf Restoration Network works to ensure that decisions impacting the health and sustainability of our communities are made using sound science, and with an overall concern for the long-term sustainability of our communities. We work in partnership with our network of environmental groups across the Gulf to hold decision makers accountable for the impact their decisions have on our communities, seeking to ensure that short term business interests do not take precedence over a community’s long term sustainability.Please take a moment now – before this email gets lost in the daily shuffle – to make a contribution in support of our work. For contributions of $30 or more GRN is offering a free CD with songs from local artists. Put together with the support of Basin Street Records, the album features fantastic Basin Street artists like Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield and Theresa Andersson, as well as other notable Louisiana acts such as Galactic, Marc Broussard and the New Orleans Bingo Show. All these musicians are committed to our coast, and are working to help spread the word about our coastal crisis.Your contribution to the Gulf Restoration Network gives us the resources to fight for the coast every day.United for a Healthy Gulf,Cynthia SarthouExecutive DirectorP.S. Our wetlands provide critical flood and storm surge protection. They improve our water quality and are important habitat for wildlife and commercial fisheries species. The Gulf region has already lost 50% of its historic wetlands and is continuing to lose them everyday. With your donation to the Gulf Restoration Network we can continue our work protecting and restoring the natural resources of the Gulf!