Energy and Climate Change

Gulf Monitoring

Gulf Monitoring

BOPCO
BOPCO oil collection platform in Cox Bay, LA.

Our Gulf Monitoring program exposes and investigates pollution and ecosystem damage in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast region. We collect, analyze and publish images and other information acquired from the land, air and sea. We engage in monitoring of pollution onshore and offshore using aerial reconnaissance and photography, combined with on-the-ground and on-the-water observation and sampling.

Since April of 2010, we have taken hundreds of  monitoring trips and have found, documented and reported over 150 illegal discharges. Examples include coal and petroleum coke from coal export facilities; ruptured oil and gas pipelines; leaking oil platforms and well-heads inshore and offshore; ongoing BP disaster impacts on Gulf coast beaches and wetlands; and, oil, gas and pipeline canal damages to wetlands. Our watchdogging efforts have led to the collection of evidence in litigation against the coal and oil and gas industries.

Stop Pollution and Hold Industry Accountable

BP tar found on Grand Isle in Dec 2015

Our goal is to prevent and reduce pollution and destruction by ensuring that industry and government pollution reports are accurate, credible and understandable, The true environmental impacts of energy development must be widely exposed, acknowledged, and incorporated into public policy and decision-making. The BP drilling disaster exposed the flaws of oil pollution reporting and response. Polluters self-report and influence the response. Little information is made available to the public, and that information is sometimes untrustworthy.

Justice would demand that those impacted by dirty energy development have a say in that development, but that is rarely the case. It's no coincidence that communities without resources are selected for energy development. This same lack of resources hinders environmental monitoring of oil impacts. GRN is working alongside groups like Public Lab that develop collaborate, low-cost environmental monitoring tools and practices.

We’re also sharing lessons learned and knowledge gained with other impacted communities nationally and/or internationally. Gulf Restoration Network’s monitoring work has been featured the Associated Press, NPR, PBS Newshour, Newsweek, CNN, The Washington Post, Salon.com, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera, The Los Angeles Times, The New Orleans Times Picayune, The Baton Rouge Advocate, ThinkProgress, and numerous other national, state, and local media outlets. GRN monitoring staff are a go-to source for journalists covering regional environmental issues. Our work with the media will help bring much needed attention to the myriad of problems we face in the Gulf region.

Gulf Monitoring Consortium

In January of 2013, GRN formally joined the Gulf Monitoring Consortium  (GMC).The GMC is a rapid response alliance that collects, analyzes and publishes images and other information to investigate and expose pollution incidents that occur in the Gulf of Mexico. Members of the GMC use satellite images and mapping, aerial reconnaissance and photography, on-the-water observation and sampling, and years of experience to identify, locate and track new and ongoing oil spills.

Skytruth |  Southwings |  Public Lab |  Louisiana Bucket Brigade |  Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper |  Mobile Baykeeper |  Suncoast Waterkeeper |  Waterkeeper Alliance  

Visit our Flickr page and our blog to see photos and other results of our monitoring work. For more information, contact Scott Eustis at scott@healthygulf.org or 504-525-1528, ext. 212.