Four days ago, Hurricane Ike swept ashore across Galveston Island. The enormous storm whipped up the Gulf and brought massive storm surge destroying coastal communities along Texas’ northern coast and into Louisiana. While millions swelter without electricity and begin to clean up and repair their homes, the full extent of the damage is just beginning to be revealed.Once again we are students in the ‘School of Big Storms.’ We hope we will learn from our mistakes as we begin to rebuild for our future. GRN supporters and member groups in the impacted region need our help to ensure our coastal wetlands and barrier islands are protected. Our natural storm defenses must be spared from continued development and allowed to do their job of reducing storm surge and absorbing rain and runoff.Today, the Houston Chronicle featured an important article on limiting development and the need to follow building setback requirements proposed by the state. You can also read this article from The New York Times about the potentially harmful toxic sludge left behind by receding floodwaters. And, Dr. Jeff Masters has been contributing to his Weather Underground blog with updates on the damage including photos of the destruction and more details on how individual communities were impacted by Ike. Check out this assessment of the damage in southern Louisiana from LEAN, a GRN member group. And you can read this article from the Houma Courier on the fisheries disaster in the Gulf declared by the NOAA Fisheries Service.GRN will continue to work across the Gulf to ensure our natural storm defenses are protected and restored. We will get back to our supporters on opportunities protect our natural defenses and protect ourselves. We wish our supporters and member groups in the impacted area a safe and healthy recovery.Sincerely,Aaron VilesCampaign Director

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