Happy New Year, A Look GRN’s 2012 Resolutions

On behalf of the Gulf Restoration Board of Directors and Staff, we wish you and your family a happy New Year! 2011 was a somewhat successful year for the Gulf because of supporters like you. As was plain from the blog posted by Dan Favre, GRN’s Communication Director, after our staff retreat, in the last year, together, we accomplished a lot. Looking forward we have a lot we hope to accomplish in 2012 and will be calling on all of you for your support throughout the year. We hope you will continue to stand with us in 2012 as we work to ensure the Gulf receives the protections it needs to preserve its bountiful natural resources.Below is a snapshot of some of the GRN’s 2012 objectives that we will be working to achieve to further our collective goal of a healthy Gulf can be shared and enjoyed for generations to come.2012 Goals/ObjectivesEnsure that:a significant percentage of Clean Water Act and other fines related to the BP drilling disaster are dedicated to Gulf restoration and recovery and are used to restore the Gulf’s coastal and marine resources to a condition of sustainability; the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force implementation plan scheduled for completion in June 2012 (1) includes concrete goals, measurable objectives, benchmarks (with specific deliverables, a clear timeline, and metrics to assess performance focused on addressing root causes of problems); (2) ensures consistency between ecological restoration and environmental permitting in the designated coastal zone of eachGulf state; and (3) requires the development of a decision-matrix to provide a general framework to prioritize projects and make funding decisions; the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) is as transparent and comprehensive a process as possible and early restoration funding is strategically to support long-term ecosystem restoration of the Gulf’s coastal and marine resources Continue to monitor and expose the legacy and ongoing impacts of the oil industry and hold them accountable Reduce the threat of spills and the discharge of contaminants to the Gulf by strengthening regulation of oil and gas drilling Press for the establishment of a Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council for real public oversight of oil and gas exploration, development, and production in the Gulf of Mexico, and authorizes and funds research and development of oil spill prevention and clean up technologies Advocate for Florida’s adoption of scientifically defensible and protective estuarine numeric criteria for nutrients that includes protections for downstream waters, particularly estuaries Working with our partners in Louisiana to ensure that the 2012 Louisiana Master Plan for Coastal Restoration sets forth a realistic achievable vision for addressing the coastal wetlands crisis facing the State Ensuring that Mississippi adopts strong anti-degradation rules (clean water remains clean) Working to make sure that the endangered Mississippi Gopher Frog is given an appropriate buffer around its breeding ponds Thank you for everything you do for our Gulf, and we look forward to working with you in this New Year! Gratefully,Cynthia Sarthou Cynthia is the Executive Director of GRN.Above Photo courtesy of Eric Zamora

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