Greetings from the Lone Star State! Amidst the hustle and bustle of last minute Christmas preparations, and visiting with family (and family dogs–there are 4 at my feet as I write!), I feel compelled to take a moment to thank our members and supporters who took time this month to support Ocean Conservancy’s work to ensure that Gulf Restoration moves forward in a way that protects the wildlife, people and places that make the Gulf a national treasure. After exceeding our goal of 30,000 petition signatures to support sea turtle nesting ground restoration, the project has officially been approved for funding.
Restoring the Gulf from not only the oil disaster but also from decades of problems like wetland loss, nutrient pollution and loss of habitat is a huge undertaking, and a complex challenge. In the Gulf Restoration Program, we focus on all of the moving pieces that will hopefully create a coordinated effort for restoration on a scale not often seen. From advocating for the RESTORE Act, to participating in countless public meetings, from testifying in front of Congress, to working with the people who make their living on the water, from advocating for science to support restoration, to pushing for projects that will have a significant impact on the species we love– we do it all, and we do it with all our heart. Even so, it’s easy to get lost in the details, to keep one’s head down and just keep pushing, sometimes not even coming up for air when it’s time to celebrate important victories.
But you have reminded me that there is much to celebrate. Over 30,000 of you supported this project to improve sea turtle nesting habitat. This overwhelming show of support is a clear indication that we are on the right track pushing for projects that cross political boundaries and protect the marine species that are so important to us. Your effort sends a strong message to decision-makers that marine restoration is a critical priority in the Gulf, and that we will accept nothing less than full restoration of this incredible place called the Gulf of Mexico.
I’ll be honest with you– I was absolutely blown away by the number of folks who signed our petition. It’s easy for me to get lost in the work, and you have reminded me, and the staff of the Gulf Restoration Program, that we have 30,000 partners working alongside us to restore the Gulf. I am grateful beyond words for your support.
Let’s keep pushing together in 2013– there is still much to do, but I know that together we can restore the Gulf. Please consider doing an ocean of good and give a gift that will benefit sea turtles and all of the vibrant life in our ocean.
Thank you. For your support of sea turtle projects, for your love of the ocean, for inspiring me, thank you.