Blogging for a Healthy Gulf


EPA diver sampling Tippo Bayou near Philipp, MS. Photo Credit: USEPA

Congressman Steven Palazzo of Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District caused great alarm among his constituents when he co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Mississippi’s Fourth District is in a low-lying coastal area.  Wetlands and the riparian areas along the Mississippi coasts’ many estuaries provide critical storm protection to residents.  Irresponsible development threatens these wetlands. Mississippi’s failing sewerage systems leads to constantly closed beaches.  Shrimp, oyster and fish populations are in serious decline.  Dolphin and turtle mortality is at historic levels.  

The management of storm water runoff is poorly enforced.

Mississippi’s coast is the main driver of our state’s economy. We need clean, healthy water for thriving tourism and fishing industries. Congressman Palazzo’s support of a bill to eliminate the EPA is bad for Mississippi.

Thankfully, it seems as though Congressman Palazzo may be rethinking his support of eliminating the EPA.  On March 2, he wrote an ...


This guest blog was originally published by Rethink Energy Florida on their blog. Check out their site here

Florida’s 2017 Legislative Session begins March 7th at noon, and we are feeling quite optimistic about it! ReThink Energy Florida is better-prepared than ever to see our legislative agenda move, especially on the important issue of fracking in the State of Florida.

Currently, good fracking-ban bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate. State Senator Dana Young (R-Tampa) has filed SB 442 relating to Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment, and State Representative Mike Miller (R-Orlando) has filed an identical bill in the House, HB 451.

We think it is especially noteworthy that the Sponsors and Co-sponsors of these bills represent a strongly bipartisan coalition of legislators. Clean water is not a partisan issue. We applaud these legislators who were willing to reach across the aisle and present concise and...


Guest Blogger Patti Dunn is the founder of Tchoup Industries, a New Orleans company that hand-makes backpacks and bags with local and reused materials.

There are always difficult decisions to make in Louisiana when big oil money and jobs directly conflict with our local efforts to slow down land loss and preserve natural habitats. Most of us would love to have our cake and eat it too, which would be a lot easier if oil companies tapping into our gulf could commit to holding up their end of the bargain.

"No where on Earth is there such a living landscape, where 100 acres of new land emerges from the sea. It's this dynamism that makes the River Delta so fertile, and the Gulf so biodiverse. But we have lost so much because companies refuse to clean up their mess, and our government refuses to uphold the law."  
- Scott Eustis, coastal wetland...

One Lake Project - Flow and Nutrient Pollution Problems
"One Lake" project on Pearl River in Jackson, Ms.

In Mississippi alone, there are 98 discharge permits along the Pearl River from Hinds County downstream to Pearl River County closer to the river’s mouth. The Pearl is the Mississippi-Louisiana boundary in its lower reaches, and Louisiana manages a number of permits on its side of the Pearl River as well.  In Mississippi, permits required by the Clean Water Act, are granted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to city sewage treatment  plants, schools, housing subdivisions , chicken processors, slaughter houses, trailer parks, industrial parks and day care centers, to name a few. Each single discharger must treat its waste to certain standards before the effluent, mixed with water, can be returned to the Pearl or one of its tributaries. The largest permit holders such as city sewage plants may return 2-4 million gallons per day to the river, the smaller nursing homes or child care centers may...


Nearly half of our funding at GRN comes from from individuals like you. This is a big deal for two reasons:

1. It allows GRN the freedom to work on new, pressing issues as they arise
2. Grassroots fundraising like this has the power to build movements

GRN has members from all over the world, but most of our members in the Gulf South first hear about us through our outreach team. That's actually how I first heard about GRN! I joined the team in 2009 as a canvasser, talking to people on their doorstep about issues that effected their neighborhood, city and our Gulf. It was a long, hot summer pounding the pavement, but I waked away with skills that prepared me to become the Development Director here at GRN.

This spring, join the team! We are looking for dedicated individuals who enjoy talking to people about...


Come with us to Ship Island! We're sailing on March 19th and we want you on board.

Our boat party is the best way to get to the Island: Open bar, food and maybe a dolphin sighting on the boat ride over, all while raising money for Gulf Restoration Network!

Once you're on the island, take a guided tour, explore Fort Massachusetts or enjoy the white sandy beach of this national park. It's a day for the whole family, we want kids to see this beautiful place too.

Join us on Sunday, March 19th
Ship Island Excursions
Gulfport, Mississippi

If you can't make it to the island, join our afterparty bonfire at Ken Combs Pier from 6-9pm.

Bring friends and family - the price drops with each ticket you purchase!...

A recent editorial on an Energy Transfer Partners pipeline spoke to the benefits of the large crude oil export pipeline. These benefits are advertisements. What we need are solid promises written into a contract with the public in an Environmental Impact Statement. Pipeline advocates have ignored the cost to Louisiana--our economy and our land. Our wetlands and waters are much more valuable than the company has let on. Louisiana wetlands provide billions in ecological services like flood protection every year.

In Louisiana's coastal master plan, wetland forest is about $115,000 per acre to replace. This pipeline's damages are about $69 Million in trees alone. That's before accounting for flood damages. What will be the impact to drainage of removing and culverting many streams in Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Lafayette Parishes? What will be the added cost to the public for absorbing this new

The Beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin

Three permitting agencies have held two public hearings about one Bayou Bridge. January’s joint Army Corps and LDEQ hearing hosted over four hundred concerned citizens, for five and a half hours. Last week’s LDNR hearing lasted six! Now these agencies must deny Bayou Bridge’s water and wetland permits.

The crude oil pipeline has no place in coastal Louisiana. No public need exists for the pipe. The oil is for export and profit. Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 know this.

Despite continual claims from pipeline supporters about pipeline safety, reality persists. Just a day after LDNR’s hearing, a Phillips 66 pipeline in Paradis exploded during routine maintenance. Josh Helms of Thibodaux is presumed dead.

We also learned this past week about a neglected oil spill in the Atchafalaya Basin. Though the incident occurred in August, the operating company didn’t follow proper response protocol. Roughly half a...


Last month, GRN and Vanishing Earth flew with Southwings to check up on our coast and our Gulf.  The unreported oil we found was routine, and routinely frustrating. We also witnessed the river building new land, giving new cause for hope.

With the eagle eyes of Vanishing Earth, we spotted a sheen by the Poydras Energy Platform in Breton Sound.  Breton Sound has some of the highest density of oil spills in the United States, due to its rustbucket rigs.

Poydras Energy Partners

In this case, the company denied responsibility for the sheen.

With a simple "no", their word overrules our photograph. Without a liable party, there was no clean up of this oil. This kind of negligence, on the part of companies and the government, is 'business as usual.'

We spotted this sheen, and noted the time and location, and kept...


brydes whaleThe Gulf of Mexico is home to a great baleen whale – the critically endangered Bryde’s whale. Today, the Gulf’s great baleen whale population includes fewer than 100 individuals. Take action now to protect the Bryde’s whale!

Last month, we asked you to sign a petition to protect these magnificent creatures – today, we have another opportunity to ensure that our voices are heard. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), has reopened the comment period for an additional 15 days. These majestic whales need protection - tell NMFS to protect the Gulf’s great baleen whales.

The 2010 BP drilling disaster hit the Bryde’s whale population hard. Estimates state that the disaster killed nearly 20% of the Bryde’s whale population in the Gulf. The survival of the remaining whales are at risk from the Gulf’s active oil and...


Recent Posts

In Houston, Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters displaced tens of thousands of residents, flooded more than 70...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Friday, 23 March 2018
Mississippi’s elected leadership may be getting a better understanding about how river flow and oysters...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
In the first two months of 2018, four governments along the Lower Pearl River have...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
The rivers of Louisiana are intricately connected to our unique and valuable wetland forests. You...
Written by Natalie Montoya
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
The Washington Parish Council passed a resolution against more upstream damming on the Pearl River...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
The on-again, off-again saga of drilling off the Florida coast is…on again. Well, apparently it...
Written by Christian Wagley
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
A coalition of Gulf Coast chefs and restaurant owners is calling on lawmakers to vote...
Written by Kendall Dix
Tuesday, 23 January 2018

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