Mission: Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) is a 16 year old environmental advocacy organization that works to unite and empower people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico region.
With an exclusive focus on the ecological health of the Gulf Coast, GRN quickly mobilized resources to respond to the 2005 hurricanes and 2010 BP oil drilling disaster.
GRN continues to fight for clean flowing waters, healthy coastal areas, and vibrant offshore ecosystems that are essential to resilient communities and healthy wildlife in the region.
Geographic areas served: Gulf of Mexico region
Programs: Gulf future campaign: the organization independently monitors and assesses the bp/federal government clean up, containment and restoration efforts in the face of the bp drilling disaster through boat excursions and seaplane flights; coordinates a collaborative "gulf future" campaign focused on ensuring ecosystem and coastal community restoration, and works to establish a robust public participation process to make the industry safer and more transparent and accountable to impacted communities.
water resources: the organization works to improve water quality by identifying pollution issues and providing technical assistance, training, and mentoring to numerous communities faced with pollution, as well to improve the development and implementation of watershed and coastal wetlands restoration plans and to prevent damaging projects that destroy wetlands and/or inpact water quality. The organization also works closely with citizen activists, providing frequent updates and action alerts, b
coastal rebuilding: the organization works to build an active and engaged national constituency to support natural storm protection and restoration efforts for the gulf coast region and is an advocate for the establishment of multiple coastal lines of defense to build resiliency and protect communities placed at risk due to the continuing loss of coastal wetlands and increasing sea levels.
I had the pleasure to work with the Gulf Restoration Network in 3/5 Gulf states. They are generally the only ones on the ground, pounding the pavement, and garnering grassroots support on environmental issues facing the Gulf. GRN tends to push for what's actually needed to protect and restore the regions ecosystems, rather than compromise with polluters who do not feel they have to in order to protect the bottom line.
The GRN is an amazing regional organization that covers the entire Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. The GRN is the only organization I know of that has been doing this work in every gulf state for so long - before Katrina, before Rita, before Gustav, before Ike and before the BP Oil Disaster, the Gulf Restoration Network was there. They've working to care for the Gulf and it's coastline for 15 plus years and really know their stuff.
I've volunteered with them since before the oil disaster, back when the big issue was wetlands loss. My role has been to let folks outside the region (in my case the Boston area) know what's REALLY going on in the Gulf and how folks can help to advocate for and protect it. Since the BP Oil Drilling Disaster, the GRN has been the eyes and ears of the gulf - flying over to get aerial views, having photographers out on the water, and letting us all know what's really going on. This has been very important because the media is not reporting the true extent of the damage. Through the GRN, I've been able to become a better-informed citizen and have been able to show others the importance of the Gulf Coast ecosystem.