Door Knocking for a Healthy Gulf

For twenty years, the Gulf Restoration Network has been committed to uniting and empowering individuals to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Public outreach and activism are key tactics by which we have continued to achieve these goals, and our Summer Outreach Team is a critical component of these tactics.This is the sixth consecutive summer that we’ve had the opportunity to send groups of passionate individuals into communities, sharing information about the significant issues facing our coast. Even in this technological age, the single most effective way to engage the public and identify new supporters is through one-on-one conversations. Since May, our Summer Outreach Team has been dedicated to building public support to hold BP accountable in the wake of the 2010 drilling disaster and to ensure effective environmental restoration by way of Clean Water Act fines.While headquartered in New Orleans, this year’s team will have the opportunity to visit and speak with constituents in each of the five Gulf States. Our most recent trip was to coastal Mississippi, where a group of talented canvassers spoke with community members about the threat of oil and gas drilling directly off the coast of the state’s majestic barrier islands. During July and August, we’ll continue to visit communities throughout southeast Louisiana, and we will travel to coastal Alabama, Texas, and the Florida panhandle.Since 1994, the Gulf Restoration Network has been a leader in tackling environmental issues of Gulf-wide importance, including water quality, wetlands and sustainable fisheries. We could not do this work without the ongoing support of our members, who truly do provide us with the resources and unified community voice we need to fight for the Gulf every single day. Ours is certainly a battle and it’s hard work, but one thousand voices are much louder than one, and each and every new supporter moves us that much closer towards a healthy Gulf.History has shown that we cannot wait for our politicians to act on our behalf. Instead, we the people must stand together and call for real solutions to protect and restore our beautifully unique Gulf environment. If you ever find a canvasser in your neighborhood or knocking on your door, please don’t hesitate to become meaningfully involved. The reward is nothing less than saving our region, economic resources, vibrant cultures and ways of life.Anna Dvorak is GRN’s Outreach Team Manager.

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