More Than 1000 Riders Join GBF for Bike Around the Bay 2013!
The seventh annual Bike Around the Bay Sponsored by Shell took place October 12-13, 2013 with more than 1000 registered riders for the first time in the ride's history. The two day ride started out a bit soggy at Barbers Hill ISD in Mont Belvieu, but the weather cooperated for the rest of the ride as cyclists made their way around the bay on their 180-mile journey. The proceeds of the ride benefit projects that preserve wetlands, protect natural habitat, and enhance the water quality of the bay. The Galveston Bay Foundation would like to thank all the riders, volunteers and sponsors who made this the most successful Bike Around the Bay yet! Bike Around the Bay 2014 is scheduled for October 18-19, 2014.
GBF Awarded Accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
GBF is excited to announce that after an extensive evaluation, we have been awarded accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. GBF is among 230 land trusts from across the country, including seven in Texas, that have been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008. Since its establishment in 1987, GBF has conserved over 3,300 acres of coastal habitat through property acquisitions and conservation easements and is working to substantially increase acreage conserved in the coming year. GBF is now able to display a seal of accreditation indicating to the public that it meets national standards for excellence, upholds the public trust, and ensures that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation. To read more about the accreditation, view the press release.
Redfish Raft-Up 2013
It's was a great time out on the bay on Sunday, September 1st for Redfish Raft-Up! Thank you to everyone who joined us, our sponsors and especially Star Fleet Yachts for partnering with us to hold this event each year! If you missed out on purchasing a Redfish Raft-Up shirt during the event, you can still purchase one through our online purchase page for $10 each!
Advisory on Spotted Seatrout Removed for Most of Galveston Bay
The Galveston Bay Foundation celebrates the removal of the seafood consumption advisory on spotted seatrout (speckled trout) for most of the Galveston Bay system, including a portion of Upper Galveston Bay and all of Trinity, Lower Galveston, East, West, Chocolate, Drum, Bastrop, and Christmas bays. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the concentrations of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls had decreased to acceptable levels and no longer pose a significant health risk. We hope to see a long-term decrease in the concentrations of toxins in seafood as sources of these “legacy pollutants” are identified and eliminated. For almost three years, GBF has worked to ensure that a major dioxin hotspot, the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site (SJRWP) on the San Jacinto River at Interstate 10, is cleaned up as fast as possible. We continue to work with local, state, and federal agencies, industry, and other non-profit organization to ensure appropriate long-term clean-up of the site occurs and will work to uncover and clean up other abandoned waste pits or areas, such as Patrick Bayou on the Houston Ship Channel. Read the press release on the avisory update or view the seafood consumption advisories page for more information.
Over 9,000 lbs. of Trash Removed from Armand Bayou During Trash Bash 2013!
On March 23, 615 volunteers collected over 6,000 lbs. of trash and over 3,000 lbs. of recyclable materials from six land-based and two water-based collection sites along and around Armand Bayou. We would like to thank all of the volunteers for their time and help in making this another successful Trash Bash!
To view photos from the day, visit our facebook photo album.
Clean Texas Marina of the Year Awarded to Marina Del Sol for Project with the Galveston Bay Foundation
Marina Del Sol was given the 2012 Clean Marina of the Year Award for the State of Texas for its efforts to improve water quality through a partnership with the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF). This award is part of the Clean Texas Marina Program through Texas Sea Grant. Each year, marinas apply for the award based on a specific project they are implementing to benefit the environment. Marina Del Sol’s ongoing Clean Water Partnership with GBF focuses on reducing pathogenic bacteria entering the water, which can come from boat sewage in addition to other land based sources like pet waste and sewer overflows. GBF regularly receives reports across Clear Lake and Galveston Bay regarding illegal boat sewage discharges into the water and the staff at Marina Del Sol is taking proactive steps to ensure that its tenants are educated on the issue and are helping to keep our bay fishable and swimmable. Click here for more information.
Amber Mckenna with Marina Del Sol (L) accepts the 2012 Clean Marina of the Year Award from Dewayne Hollin with Clean Texas Marina Program, and Lynda Hall with the Marina Association of Texas.
Reliant EcoShareSM Program to Benefit GBF and Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The Galveston Bay Foundation is pleased to announce the second year of The Reliant EcoShareSM, a way that Texans can support the Galveston Bay Foundation and offset their own carbon production at the same time. Reliant and EarthShare of Texas have launched a program that allows Reliant customers to help reduce their carbon footprints through the purchase of carbon offsets. And for each customer-purchased offset, Reliant will make a contribution to EarthShare of Texas and its participating organizations. As an EarthShare of Texas participating organization, the Galveston Bay Foundation will benefit from this program. For more information, visit the EarthShare of Texas website or go directly to reliant.com/ecoshare.
GBF Recycles 54 Tons of Oyster Shell in 2012
From January through December 2012, GBF recycled an estimated 54 TONS of oyster shell from Tommy’s Restaurant. Much of the shell collected in 2012 will be used to make oyster bars that will help enhance oyster reef habitat adjacent to GBF’s Sweetwater Preserve in West Bay. GBF is working to expand its oyster shell recycling program to multiple restaurants in 2013. Visit our Oyster Shell Recycling page to learn more about the program.
All recycled oyster shell is sun-cured for a 6-month minimum period on GBF''s property before going back to the bay.
Clean Water Partnership Launched with City of Nassau Bay
GBF launched a Clean Water Partnership with the City of Nassau Bay at the end of 2012, which will provide them with various hands-on opportunities to reduce bacteria levels in the bay. Paul Lopez, Public Works Director, states, “as a water front community we take great pride in protecting and preserving our waterways and natural resources. GBF is a highly respected organization in our community, and we are excited to be a Bay Ambassador!” Thus far, GBF led a marsh restoration demonstration and assisted with a shoreline cleanup at Nassau Bay’s annual Beautification Day, as well as trained a volunteer to carry out monthly water quality monitoring in the community. GBF is now collaborating with them to develop a rain barrel pilot program for residents, which will benefit both water quality and water-use efficiency.
Paul Lopez, Public Works Director, receives GBF’s Clean Water Partnership certificate on behalf of the City of Nassau Bay.
Nearly 200 Celebrate National Estuaries Day by Participating in Marsh Mania!
On September 29, 2012, nearly 200 GBF volunteers helped to restore wetlands of Galveston Bay. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of National Estuaries Day and the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, GBF hosted a special Marsh Mania to plant smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) at a marsh restoration site in Texas City. This year's site is located on the Moses Lake shoreline of The Nature Conservancy's Texas City Prairie Preserve. Marsh Mania is an annual GBF event that involves local citizens in hands-on marsh restoration activities while increasing their awareness and appreciation of Galveston Bay wetlands and the many services they provide. In fourteen years, nearly 7000 "Marsh Maniacs" have restored over 200 acres of wetlands around Galveston Bay. Marsh Mania is supported with funding from National Partnership between NOAA's Community-based Restoration Program and Restore America's Estuaries and through the donation of marsh vegetation from NRG Energy.
GBF Statement on the Port of Houston Authority's Bayport Dredging Project
The Galveston Bay Foundation has been an active participant in the discussion on the Port of Houston Authority’s Bayport Ship Channel Deepening and Widening Project, communicating with representatives of the Port, boaters, fishermen and local residents. While the Galveston Bay Foundation strives to support balanced uses of the bay – from recreational to commercial to industrial uses of the bay – and is not opposed to the Port’s deepening and widening of the Bayport Ship Channel, we have major concerns about the placement of 12 million cubic yards of clay, sand, and silt materials that will result from initial dredging and subsequent channel maintenance. And while, in most cases, the Foundation would support construction of beneficial use marshes, we are opposed to the use of the dredged material to construct a 475-acre beneficial use marsh to the west of the Houston Ship Channel and north of the Bayport Channel, just off of La Porte and Shoreacres.
Please read our full GBF Statement on Port of Houston Authority's Bayport Dredging Project , our official comments to the Corps of Engineers and see the attached maps. Full project information can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers webpage.
Bay Day Festival Held Saturday, June 9, 2012
Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating Galveston Bay at the Kemah Boardwalk on Saturday, June 9 during the annual Bay Day Festival. Thousands of attendees, over forty exhibitors and more than a hundred volunteers helped make Bay Day 2012 a success! Visit our Bay Day page for more information on the event.
Reliant EcoShareSM Program to Benefit GBF and Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
GBF is pleased to announce the second year of The Reliant EcoShareSM, a way that Texans can support GBF and offset their own carbon production at the same time. Reliant and EarthShare of Texas have launched a program that allows Reliant customers to help reduce their carbon footprints through the purchase of carbon offsets. And for each customer-purchased offset, Reliant will make a contribution to EarthShare of Texas and its participating organizations. As an EarthShare of Texas participating organization, GBF will benefit from this program. For more information,click here for the EarthShare of Texas website or go directly to the Reliant website.
Over 7,400 Pounds of Trash Cleaned Up at Trash Bash 2012
Thank you to all those that came out to the Armand Bayou site for Trash Bash 2012 on Saturday, March 31st! We had over 740 volunteers, including on the water and on land volunteers, picking up trash and recyclables along the Armand Bayou watershed. Continue reading here and enjoy photos from the event on our Facebook photo album.
"Give 5% to Conserve Houston" Campaign to Celebrate Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day, the Galveston Bay Foundation, along with Bayou Land Conservancy, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Houston Audubon, and Katy Prairie Conservancy, launched the inaugural "Give 5% to Conserve Houston" campaign. The campaign encourages local businesses to commit to donate five percent of sales Saturday, April 21st, of Earth Day weekend, to the above listed non-profits that dedicate their time and energy into making the Houston area a better place.
We hope you will join us at the participating businesses, Saturday, April 21, to celebrate Earth Day.
Support GBF Through the EarthShare of Texas Tear Pad Program at H-E-B in April
H-E-B has again selected EarthShare of Texas to be the beneficiary of its in-store coupon promotion for April, in recognition of Earth Day. This means that customers can tear off and add check-out coupons worth $1, $3, or $5 to their total bill to support environmental work.
The tear pad program begins today and runs through the first week of May. Learn more by clicking here, and start donating today!
USACE Makes Changes to West Bay Dredging Project
The Galveston Bay Foundation met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District (“USACE”) last week to view and discuss a dredging project near Carancahua Point in West Galveston Bay on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. GBF and many local fishermen have been concerned about the dredge material being placed upon seagrasses that have re-established in the area. Read the press release and view the placement area map to learn how the USACE is making changes to this project to ensure the minimization of negative impacts to seagrasses in West Galveston Bay.
Galveston Bay water quality
A public meeting to hear updates to the Implementation Plan to reduce bacteria levels in the Upper Gulf Coast Oyster Waters was held on January 18. Attendees discussed the various management measures being proposed, as well as ways the community can help prevent bacteria from entering our waterways. Your input is essential to ensuring this plan’s success, so get involved by contacting Charlene at 281.332.3381 x215.
We must protect our prairie potholes: support wetland protection
GBF President, Bob Stokes, stresses the need for "wetlands guidance" documents in this Houston Chronicle opinion piece, "We must protect our prairie potholes". Stokes co-authored the article with other Houston-Galveston area conservation leaders as a result of the removal of certain critical waters and wetlands from protection under the Clean Water Act (CWA). In April 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued draft guidance for determining whether a waterway, water body or wetland is protected by the CWA. Please read the Chronicle article and support the EPA and USACE as they fight to restore clean water protections--protections for the wetlands and waters so important to health of Galveston Bay, our quality of life and our local economy.
GBF recently presented the 2011 Guardian of the Bay awards
The Galveston Bay Foundation's 2011 Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon was held on September 28, 2011. The Guardian of the Bay Award exemplifies leaders who have shown remarkable distinction through substantial work and commitment for the betterment of Galveston Bay. We are proud to announce that our 2011 award recipients are: Shell (Industry), Ann Hamilton (Community), and City of Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker (Government).
Oyster Shell Recycling Facility construction complete
On Saturday, October 1, 2011, Sea Scout Ship 1659 of Northwest Houston came down to Texas City to complete the final construction phases of an Oyster Shell Recycling Facility for the Galveston Bay Foundation. The troop was involved with the planning, design, and construction of the project for the GBF initiative. The facility will hold reclaimed oyster shells that have been discarded by local restaurants. All reclaimed shells can properly cure here before they are put back in the bay as part of oyster reef restoration projects. GBF currently collects discarded oyster shells from Tommy's Restaurant & Oyster Bar and looks to expand the program in 2012 with more restaurants.
Galveston Bay Foundation celebrates National Estuaries Day
GBF celebrated National Estuaries Day at Dickinson Bay Island and it was a huge success. We had over 60 volunteers plant 60 mangroves, remove several invasive trees and shrubs, and pick up an estimated 2,500 pounds of trash! Thanks to all the volunteers and partners who made this event a great success. Enjoy the event photos!
Oyster gardeners ready to seed reef restoration areas
Galveston Bay Foundation's Community-Based Oyster Reef Restoration program worked with bayfront residents this summer to garden oysters. In the upcoming weeks, these volunteer residents will remove their oyster gardening bags that are now filled with live oysters that naturally landed and grew in the bags. The oysters are ready to be placed on several constructed, adjacent reef pads in an effort to expedite colonization by more oysters. On the reef pads, the oysters become mature within their first year and will quickly begin spawning to further the reefs’ development. For the past three summers, volunteers in the community of San Leon have been gardening oysters to help restore reefs and have witnessed the results firsthand—better fishing and cleaner water. This summer, Kemah and Bayview residents have joined the oyster gardening effort. See the full press release.
Seafood consumption advisories
While Galveston Bay is an outstanding place to fish, you need to be aware of seafood consumption advisories! The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) issues seafood consumption advisories when tests on fish and crabs indicate there is an increased risk to human health from the presence of toxic pollutants. Read more on our Seafood Consumption Advisory page.
Marsh Mania 2011 recap
On April 30th and June 11th, volunteers helped restore habitat at multiple locations around Galveston Bay! A total of six sites were planted this year including Burnet Bay, Sweetwater Preserve, Terramar, Clear Lake Forest Park, Harborwalk Diversionary canal, and Snake Island Cove. The event totaled 373 volunteers who planted 26,650 stems of smooth cordgrass, 2,200 plugs of seagrass, 400 mangrove trees, and 30 mulberry trees. Thanks to all our volunteers who participated in Marsh Mania, and come join us next spring for Marsh Mania 2012!
GBF's Get Hip to Habitat program in action at Nassau and Trinity Bays
Houston-Galveston area students in GBF’s Get Hip to Habitat program transplanted 3,000 marshgrass plants into Galveston Bay after carefully maintaining marsh grass "mini ponds" on their campus grounds for seven months. Over 300 students and 30 adults from seven schools in three school districts restored almost 18,000 square feet of marsh in both Nassau and Trinity Bays. The program has the dual benefits of introducing students to the natural resources of the Galveston Bay estuary and providing a source of native wetland plants for use in local habitat restoration projects. Participation in this program provides students with valuable hands-on science education at their schools as well as in the field, and exposes them to the value of a healthy Galveston Bay.
2011 Bay Day festival at the Kemah Boardwalk: wrap up!
More than 7,000 attendees and 150 volunteers celebrated Galveston Bay on
the Kemah Boardwalk at GBF's annual Bay Day family festival. The event featured live entertainment, interactive
exhibits, a scavenger hunt, and a photo contest. Local exhibitors, including TPWD, GBEP, TCEQ, GBF, ABNC, Baytown Nature Center and other organizations, showed children and adults how important Galveston Bay is in our everyday lives. Attendees interacted with different types of bay wildlife such as live crabs, fish, oyster reef, snakes, and gators; learned about the local watershed; and even made their own fish print t-shirts to take home. See event photos from GBF's Facebook page, and check out the Bay Day video produced by our friends at Talk of the Bay. Also, view the winning photos from the Bay Gazer Photo Contest!
Adopted TCEQ rules leave fish and wildlife high and dry
On Wednesday, April 20, two of the three commissioners who head the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) voted to adopt freshwater inflow standards that threaten the future ecological health of Galveston Bay and the Trinity and San Jacinto rivers. TCEQ’s freshwater inflow standards are so low they could allow the rivers to be drained to a trickle, harming our estuaries and putting oysters, blue crabs, finfish, and other aquatic species and birds and wildlife that depend on them at great risk. Let the TCEQ and Governor Perry know how you feel about these inadequate standards.
Reliant EcoShareSM program will help reduce your carbon footprint
GBF is pleased to announce that Reliant Energy, a long-time GBF supporter, has introduced the Reliant Renewables EcoShare program, a new way that Texans can support GBF and offset their own carbon production at the same time. Reliant Energy and EarthShare of Texas have launched a program that allows Reliant customers to help reduce their carbon footprints through the purchase of carbon offsets. And for each customer-purchased offset, Reliant will make a contribution to EarthShare of Texas and its participating organizations. As an EarthShare of Texas participating organization, GBF will benefit from this program. For more information, click here for the EarthShare of Texas website, or click here to go directly to the Reliant website.
Oyster Tasting event--showcasing Galveston Bay oyster reefs
Galveston Bay Foundation teamed up with Tommy's Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Clear Lake for an Oyster Tasting event on April 2nd, providing the unique opportunity to sample oysters from many different reefs of Galveston Bay. The special event pleased palates and also raised awareness of the critical issues facing Galveston Bay Oysters such as protection of freshwater inflows. In attendance was honored guest, Dr. Sammy Ray- world-famous Oyster Biologist and Professor Emeritus of Texas A&M University at Galveston. All oyster shells from the event were recycled to GBF's Oyster Shell Recycling Program, and a portion of the proceeds also benefited the Galveston Bay Foundation.
Trash Bash at Armand Bayou: cleaning up a watershed
This year, Galveston Bay Foundation coordinated the Armand Bayou Trash Bash site on March 26, 2011. Over 600 bags of trash and over 250 bags of recyclable items were removed from the Armand Bayou watershed with the help of nearly 850 volunteers--100 of which were out paddling to cleanup from the water. Armand Bayou was one of seventeen Trash Bash cleanup sites around Houston this past Saturday. Trash Bash is organized by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and held on the last Saturday of March each year, so please make plans to join us again next year. A big thank you to all of our volunteers! Event pictures available at Galveston Bay Foundation's Facebook page and at wiredin.cc.
GBF announces Galveston Bay as a national "Great Water"
Galveston Bay has been designated as one of nine new "Great Waters" by America’s Great Waters Coalition. The Coalition works to ensure the restoration of America’s Great Waters to protect people, wildlife, and the economy by advocating for adequate funding for restoration efforts and raising awareness about the challenges facing our nation’s Great Waters. The Galveston Bay Foundation will make the announcement of this national designation at Trash Bash at Armand Bayou in Bay Area Park on Saturday, March 26th at 12:30 p.m. The Great Waters Coalition is uniquely positioned to illustrate to the American public and decision makers that our water resources must become a national priority for the security of our economy and way of life. To learn more about the Great Waters Coalition and to view a complete list of America’s Great Waters, visit www.nwf.org/greatwaters. See the full press release.
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Code: 182557
Shell volunteers plant mangroves and marsh grass
On July 22, 2010, over 30 volunteers from Shell came out to plant 39 mangroves and 5,400 stems of marsh grass with the Galveston Bay Foundation. This West Galveston Bay marsh restoration project is 3.25 acres large and planted in partnership with the Isla Del Sol homeowners' association. Thank you to all of our Shell friends for a great day in the bay! See all of the photos on GBF's Facebook page.
Take action now to protect to freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay!
Freshwater flowing down the Trinity and San Jacinto rivers is the lifeblood of an estuary like Galveston Bay, providing for the proper salinity in the bay and bringing in vital nutrients and sediments. Right now, TCEQ is considering adopting standards for freshwater flows to Galveston Bay that are inadequate to protect its health, commercial and recreational fisheries (particularly oysters), or quality of life values for future generations. Please help us fight for Galveston Bay by making a phone call to the TCEQ Commissioners and Governor Perry and writing letters NOW! To get phone numbers, talking points, and sample letters, visit GBF’s environmental flows webpage. You can also read a great article about Galveston Bay, freshwater, and oysters in the Bay Area Citizen, see our Galveston County Daily News op-ed, GCDN’s editorial, and an editorial from the Houston Chronicle on this critical issue.
GBF staff and volunteers pull 407 crab traps from Trinity Bay
On February 19, 2011GBF staff and over 50 volunteers pulled 407 abandoned crab traps from Trinity Bay and the Trinity River delta during TPWDs Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program. We more than doubled the amount of traps pulled last year at this site! The crab traps are left in the water for a variety of reasons. Some are misplaced, others are abandoned by crabbers no longer in business, and some are simply left out with the hope they will not be pulled during this annual 10-day period when crabbing is closed along the Texas coast. Abandoned crab traps are not only hazardous to wildlife, they are unsightly, problematic for fishers and boaters, and can even smother seagrasses. See the full GBF press release , listen to the coverage on 88.7 KUHF, or visit GBF's Crab Trap Removal event page.
Marsh Mania 2011 dates selected
Galveston Bay Foundation is pleased to announce the dates for 2011's Marsh Mania event weekends! Marsh Mania is the nationally-recognized, signature community-based wetlands restoration and education event of the Galveston Bay area. The goal of Marsh Mania is to involve local citizens in hands-on wetlands restoration activities while increasing their awareness and appreciation of wetland habitats and functions. In eleven years, Marsh Mania has involved more than 5,450 community volunteers in the restoration of roughly 132 acres of vital salt marsh habitat at 54 sites around Galveston Bay. This year's events will take place on April 30th and June 11th, so mark your calendars and make plans to join us as we get wet and muddy while restoring vital habitat around Galveston Bay! Check back later for volunteer registration.
GBF President named Environmental Professional of the Year by TAEP
Galveston Bay Foundation is pleased to announce that Bob Stokes, President of GBF, received the Environmental Professional of the Year award from the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (TAEP) at TAEP’s Fifth Annual Environmental Challenges and Innovations Conference: Gulf Coast 2011 today. "It's a real honor to be recognized by the TAEP," stated Bob Stokes. "It is a distinguished organization whose membership comes from a broad spectrum of environmental professionals who work together to advance and improve the profession. It is a pleasure to work with many of its members on an almost daily basis." Read the full press release.
2011 Children’s Art Calendar winners celebrated
Proud students, families, art teachers, and principals gathered at an award ceremony to celebrate the seventeen winners of the 2011 Children’s Art Calendar on January 27th at Stephen F. Austin Elementary in Baytown. Students who live around the Bay were asked, “What people, plants, or animals can you find in and around Galveston Bay?” or “Who uses Galveston Bay?” Through their knowledge and creativity, they drew pictures to illustrate their answer to one of those questions. In its past 19 years, GBF estimates that this project has reached over 10,000 fifth grade students. The Galveston Bay Children’s Art Calendar is made possible by sponsors, NRG Texas and NRG’s retail electricity business, Reliant Energy.
Congress extends conservation easement tax benefits
Congress just renewed a tax incentive for private landowners who protect their land with a voluntary conservation agreement. Conservation-minded landowners now have until December 31, 2011 to take advantage of a significant tax deduction for donating a voluntary conservation agreement to permanently protect important natural or historic resources on their land. When landowners donate a conservation easement to GBF, they maintain ownership and management of their land and can sell or pass the land on to their heirs, while foregoing future development rights. For more information email Matt Singer, GBF's Conservation Lands Manager, at email@example.com, or visit the Land Trust Alliance website.
GBF hosts restoration event at Galveston Island State Park for RAE Conference
Galveston Bay Foundation hosted a restoration event on November 13th for the Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) 5th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration. At the Galveston Island State Park habitat restoration event, 30,000 stems of cordgrass were planted with the help of GBF staff and local partners, plus 130 volunteers including RAE staff/members, conference attendees, Marathon, Mitsui, and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. The event was part of a series of projects on West Galveston Island that will help restore more than 328 acres of intertidal wetlands. See GBF's Facebook for more photos. Read more at Chron.com.
Oil spill response capabilities discussed at GBF's Quarterly Meeting
Galveston Bay Foundation hosted a panel on November 4, 2010, to discuss oil spill response capabilities in and around Galveston Bay. GBF thanks our informative guest panelists and our members who came out to learn more about the process and roles during oil spill recovery. Panelists who presented at the meeting are actively involved in oil spill recovery along the Texas and Gulf states. Panelists included Phil Glenn of Clean Channel Association, Commander Jim Elliott of the United States Coast Guard, and Maren Harding of the Texas General Land Office. The panelists presented about the capabilities for local oil spill response in addition to answering questions related to many individuals' concerns about the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill.
Volunteers from GE help clean up Burnet Bay
The Galveston Bay Foundation and GE Houston employees cleaned up trash at the wetland restoration site in Burnet Bay in Baytown, Texas on Saturday, October 30th. GE is undertaking this clean up as part of it’s 4th Annual Hands on Houston program in which volunteers participate in various activities around the city. On Saturday, over 40 GE volunteers filled 192 bags of trash, retrieved 18 tires, 6 TVs, 1 computer, and 2 twin mattresses for an approximate total of 6000 pounds of trash. Because of its location, the Burnet Bay upland peninsula collects trash from both the road and the water. Cleaning up the trash will keep it out of the water way improving the quality of the water body and out of the way of the recreational fishermen who enjoy the area. See all of the photos on GBF's Facebook page.
Over 800 riders took part in Bike Around the Bay 2010
Bike Around the Bay sponsored by Shell is the annual two-day, 150-mile ride benefiting the Galveston Bay Foundation. This year's ride took place on October 16th and 17th. Over 800 cyclists made the trek from Anahuac to Galveston on Day 1 and then from Galveston to Baytown on Day 2. Galveston Bay Foundation thanks all of the support team, volunteers, and riders who made for a great 2010 event! Check out all of the action shots on Bike Around the Bay's facebook page. Our friends at wiredin.cc also have some photos worth checking out!
Gulf Coast poll shows widespread political support for restoration funding
A new poll issued on September 29th shows that almost 8 in 10 voters in Texas believe that restoring the health of the Gulf Region should be an extremely high priority. This is particularly timely because it comes a day after the Federal Mabus Report recommended that a significant amount of the penalties collected from BP for this summer’s oil spill be dedicated to a Gulf restoration fund. For more details, see GBF’s press release and the related story in the Houston Chronicle.
2010 Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon
Galveston Bay Foundation’s 2010 Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon was held on September 15 at the Hotel ZaZa. The Honorary Luncheon Co-chairs were Janiece Longoria Lasher and George Pontikes, Jr. The Keynote “State of the Bay” speaker was the Honorable William E. King. 2010 Guardian of the Bay Awards were given to the following recipients:
Industry--Intercontinental Terminals Company
Community--Katherine Fay and Frank Smith
Government--Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia
Controlling invasive species--Brazilian peppertree eradication
The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) is currently engaged in a project to eradicate Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, from Galveston Island. Brazilian peppertree is a non-native, invasive plant species that was brought to Texas as an ornamental plant and is considered one of the greatest threats to native biodiversity. This opportunistic species quickly forms dense thickets, shading out native vegetation and drastically affecting plant and animal communities. Read more at our Invasive Species Control page to learn about this eradication project and who to contact if you have Brazilian Peppertree growing on your property.
The fall campaign season is here for workplace giving!
You can help support the Galveston Bay Foundation with a workplace payroll contribution through Earth Share of Texas, a federation representing GBF and more than 70 of America’s most respected environmental and conservation organizations. Many private employers offer Earth Share as an option, but here are the Galveston Bay Foundation's Earth Share codes for some of the biggest public campaigns:
Environmental Flows: Let your voice be heard.
Galveston Bay needs freshwater! The health of an estuary like Galveston Bay is dependent upon adequate amounts of freshwater flowing from our area rivers, bayous, creeks. Freshwater and the salty water of the Gulf of Mexico meet and mix in Galveston Bay, offering a rich habitat in which so many plants and animals flourish. Without adequate flows, the bay would become too salty and cease to provide such a bountiful harvest of fish and shellfish for our recreational and commercial fisheries. Over the next 20-30 years, local population growth and population growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth region of the Trinity River watershed will put a tremendous strain on the freshwater resources flowing into Galveston Bay. We need YOUR help to make sure the freshwater keeps flowing to Galveston Bay! New legislation means you can have a say! Read more here.
Photo credit: NASA - JSC
GBF's successful "Get Hip to Habitat" program gains momentum
GBF's Get Hip to Habitat program greatly expanded in the 2009-2010 Academic Year. Participants included 11 schools, 25 classes, 188 nursery pools, 573 students, and 90 parent volunteers throughout the Houston-Galveston area. From Aldine to Texas City, students were exposed to several facets of marsh grass restoration. Students harvested smooth cordgrass from an existing wetlands nursery in Baytown, transplanted the plugs to pots, and cultivated the stems in shallow, plastic pools at their schools. They also carefully monitored and maintained the salinity and pH of the water in their mini-marsh nurseries throughout the school year--to ensure overall health of the plants. This spring (after 7 to 8 months of growth), GBF assisted the students in planting the matured cordgrass at marsh restoration sites in Nassau Bay and Oak Island. See related news coverage from Channel 39, The Citizen, and the Daily News.
Marsh Mania wrap up: 300 volunteers help plant 6 sites this spring!
GBF's annual Marsh Mania event took place on May 1st and June 5th this year. With the help of over 300 volunteers, an estimated 5.68 acres were planted with 43,000+ stems of smooth cordgrass and other wetland plants, restoring six sites across the greater Houston-Galveston region. This year's sites included Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Sheldon Lake State Park, Terramar, Nassau Bay, Virginia Point and Sportsman Road. Thank you to everyone who came out in support of GBF's marsh restoration projects! If you participated on May 1st at Terramar, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Nassau Bay or Sheldon Lake State park, please take this survey. If you participated on June 5th at Virginia Point or Sportsman Road, please take this survey.
Thanks for joining us at BAY DAY 2010
Galveston Bay Foundation hosted its annual Bay Day event on Saturday, May 15, 2010, at the Kemah Boardwalk. We appreciate all participants who came out to support a great cause for bay awareness and environmental education. This free annual event hosts live entertainment and lots of interactive, educational exhibits and demonstrations for families to learn about Galveston Bay. Read more about Bay Day 2010 and view our event photos.
Oil Spill Recovery Update
The Galveston Bay Foundation remains on standby to provide volunteer help in the case of any local impacts from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In that effort, we are collecting names and information for volunteers who may assist in the recovery process. If you are interested in volunteering with GBF, please fill out the necessary volunteer form. Volunteers without specific oil spill response training will likely serve in a support role to trained responders and will not come in contact with any hazardous materials. We are monitoring this situation closely and will contact you as soon as the need arises. If you would like to provide direct help to our sister organization, visit the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. For all the latest information regarding the spill, check out GBF's oil response page. Thank you.
GBF's newest conservation easement on West Galveston Island
Trash Bash 2010: Thank you volunteers for a successful event!
On March 27, 2010, 150 Galveston Bay Foundation volunteers cleaned Sims Bayou for the annual Trash Bash event. Starting from Glenbrook Park, Reveille Park, and Sims Woods, GBF volunteers cleaned 4 miles of shoreline collecting more than 90 bags of trash (for over 1,800 pounds of trash)! Additionally this year, GBF made a substantial effort to collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles for recycling; volunteers collected 17 bags of recyclables! After the cleanup, volunteers enjoyed lunch, door prizes, and the drumming of Angel Quesada "and some special helpers" at Glenbrook Park. Thank you to all the volunteers who came out Saturday!
Upper Gulf Coast Oyster Waters TMDL Implementation Plan
The Galveston Bay Foundation is initiating a community-driven effort to lower the bacteria levels in the waters of Galveston Bay. We need your help and input to develop reduction measures and a monitoring plan to lower the fecal coliform concentrations in six segments of the Upper Gulf Coast: Upper Galveston Bay, Trinity Bay, East Bay, West Bay, Lower Galveston Bay, and Chocolate Bay. The bacteria levels have reached critical levels in some areas and we must take action to ensure the long-term health of our waters. For more information and workgroup meeting schedules, please visit our TMDL page.
GBF's Get Hip to Habitat Program in The Daily News
The Get Hip to Habitat program of the Galveston Bay Foundation recently made Galveston County's The Daily News. Get Hip to Habitat brings our education and marsh restoration initiatives together in one program. With this program, GBF works closely with students and teachers to establish a salt marsh wetland nursery on their school campus grounds and later transplant their established grasses to Galveston Bay wetlands. Read the full news story here!
TPWD's Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Event
Galveston Bay Foundation staff and volunteers assisted the Texas Parks and Wildlife with their 8th annual Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program. The event spans over a 10-day period in February when all Texas bays are closed to crabbing with crab traps, and any traps left in the bay are presumed to be abandoned and considered litter under state law, thus allowing volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find. On February 20, GBF staff and volunteers helped remove over 175 abandoned crab traps from Trinity Bay.
GBF Accepts Presidential Award for Contributions at North Deer Island
On December 2, 2009, the North Deer Island Protection Team received the Coastal America Partnership Award-the only environmental award of its kind given by the President of the United States-for their efforts to protect the most important colonial water bird rookery on the upper Texas coast: North Deer Island. The project spanned over nine years and protected 1.7 miles of North Deer Island's rapidly eroding shoreline. GBF was a partner on the project along with Audubon Texas, NRG Energy, EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, EPA Region-6, Houston Audubon Society, Texas Commission of Environmental Quality--Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Texas General Land Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The full press release is viewable here. Congratulatory letter from President Obama is available here.
LEFT: GBF President, Bob Stokes, accepting the award from Eileen Sobeck, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, US Department of Interior. RIGHT: GBF staffers celebrating the award.
GBF Applauds New EPA Timetable for Critical San Jacinto River Dioxin Cleanup
GBF has issued a press release applauding a new Environmental Protection Agency timetable requiring two companies to clean up a submerged industrial dumpsite that has been leaking a cancer-causing chemical, dioxin, into the San Jacinto River and Galveston Bay. Read the related article on the Galveston County Daily News website, or read the press release here.
Marsh Planting is Final Step for Burnet Bay Restoration Project
Work on the Burnet Bay Wetlands Restoration Project broke ground in June, and we are proud to announce that all of the mounds have been planted with marsh grass. This project will restore over 30 acres of intertidal wetlands. Our latest "Marsh Mania" event was held Friday, November 6th with volunteers from ConocoPhillips. Here's the video from the restoration event:
Strategies For Future Hurricane Mitigation: A Galveston Bay Foundation Position Paper
Hurricane Ike caused terrible loss of life, injuries, property destruction, and environmental harm to the Galveston Bay region. In response to this devastation, several proposals have been made which seek to limit damage from a future storm. The Galveston Bay Foundation urges that any solutions proposed to limit damage from future storms go through a full environmental review and recognize the importance of the natural environment, including our bay marshes, seagrasses and oyster reefs. Please click here to read more about our position on these proposed solutions.
We're getting "Hip to Habitat" with Lanier Middle School, featured on Channel 39 News
"Get Hip to Habitat" is a program of the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) that brings our education and marsh restoration initiatives together in one program. With this program, GBF works closely with students and teachers to establish a salt marsh wetland nursery on their school campus grounds and later transplant their established grasses to Galveston Bay wetlands. Lanier Middle School was recently featured on Channel 39 News. Check out the news footage here!
GBF working with TPWD, FWS, and local residents to restore oyster reefs
As a result of Hurricane Ike, half of the oyster reefs in Galveston Bay were destroyed. Recently, the Galveston Bay Foundation teamed up with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local residents to restore oyster reefs in Galveston Bay. Click here to read recent coverage by the Galveston County Daily News on this effort.
100+ Take Part in September's Marsh Restoration Project at Burnet Bay
On September, 19, 2009, the Galveston Bay Foundation hosted a marsh restoration project at Burnet Bay in Baytown, Texas. Thanks to all of the volunteers from ITC and Mitsui USA who came out to replant marsh vegetation! Upon completion of the marsh planting, the project will restore over 30 acres of intertidal wetlands.
Marsh Mania Featured on Channel 39's Going Green with Yolanda Green
GBF recently had the opportunity to meet with Yolanda Green of Channel 39 (KIAH)'s "Going Green" to discuss our annual Marsh Mania event. The program aired on June 13 and 14 and can be viewed online by clicking here.