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In This Issue:

Winter 2013

GBF Young Professionals Group Growing

2012 Bike Around the Bay a Great Success

Page 2

GBF Creates Water Quality Reporting Site

Page 3

Page 6

Also Inside: Letter From Our President

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Redfish Raft-Up 2012

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Support GBF Through Workplace Giving

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Students Illustrate the Beauty and Multiple Uses of Galveston Bay

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National Estuaries Day Celebrated at Fall Marsh Mania

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GBF Welcomes New Education Coordinator

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Spotlight on GBF Volunteers

Page 10

GBF Celebrates 25 Years

Galveston Bay Foundation celebrates 25 years of protecting Galveston Bay at the Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon

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his year, the Galveston Bay Foundation celebrates a very significant milestone-our 25th anniversary since our founding in 1987. Our first 25 years have been full of projects and programs in pursuit of our mission. Some of these include the preservation, protection, and restoration of over 16,500 acres of habitat around Galveston Bay; the protection of over 16 miles of Galveston Bay shorelines from continued erosion; the involvement of over 6,600 citizens in planting approximately 200 acres of marsh at 70 sites through 14 consecutive years of “Marsh Mania” events; outreach and education of tens of thousands of school children through programs such as Bay Ambassadors, the Children’s Art Calendar, Get Hip to Habitat, Bay Day, and education booths; the continuance of the wetland permit review committee for 23 years; success in

bringing the National Estuary Program to Galveston Bay and in support of the passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of the Bay; involvement with the national consortium, Restore America’s Estuaries, for 16 years; and our instrumental role in Galveston Bay being named as a “Great Water” by America’s Great Waters’ Coalition. While we’ve commemorated our 25th anniversary throughout the year, perhaps our biggest celebration to-date has been our Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon, held on October 2 at the River Oaks Country Club. Luncheon co-chairs, Laura & George A. Pontikes, Jr. and William E. (Bill) King joined nearly 500 guests to commemorate our 25th anniversary as well as to honor Kirby Continued on page 7

“The mission of the Galveston Bay Foundation is to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of the Galveston Bay estuarine system and its tributaries for present users and for posterity.“


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G a l ve s t o n B ay Fo u n d a t i o n

Bob Stokes President Ext. 211 Matthew Abernathy Conservation Programs Outreach Specialist Ext. 203 Rachel Barski Education Coordinator Ext. 212 Trey Bartsch Marketing Coordinator & Gazette Editor Ext. 208 Charlene Bohanon Water Quality Outreach Specialist Ext. 215 Jessica Curran Membership Coordinator Ext. 213 Rani Henderson Manager of Education Programs Ext. 212 Scott A. Jones Director of Advocacy Ext. 209 Julie Mintzer Director of Community Programs Ext. 207 Daniella O’Connor Database and Administrative Assistant Ext. 208 Sharon Roark Director of Development Ext. 204 Clint Schubert Grants Billing Specialist Ext. 202 Matt Singer Conservation Lands Manager Ext. 206 Courtney Smith Vice President of Operations Ext. 214 Philip Smith Director of Conservation Ext. 210 Justine Townsend Accounting Manager Ext. 202 Lee Anne Wilde Living Shorelines Program Manager Ext. 205

From Our President:

40 Years

O

oF the

Clean water aCt

n October 18, 2012, our nation marked the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). It was a significant anniversary, as the Act is known in the conservation and environmental community as one of the most successful environmental laws that has ever been passed. Since the Act’s passage, the discharge of organic wastes from publicly owned treatment waste treatment facilities around the country has dropped by 46%, and more than a billion pounds per year of toxic pollutants have been removed from our nation’s waterways. The rate at which wetlands are being lost has declined approximately 90% since the early 70s, and the amount of oil spilled into our waters has fallen to one tenth of 70s levels. Beyond these facts and figures, you can see the difference in Galveston Bay. The Bay is undoubtedly cleaner today than in 1972, and we have the CWA to thank for that success.

In addition to the problems with nonpoint source runoff, the scope of the CWA has been significantly narrowed through judicial interpretation. Bob Stokes, Galveston Bay Beginning in 2001 Foundation President with the SWANCC decision and continuing with later decisions like the Rapanos decision, the United States Supreme Court has significantly limited the definition of “water of the U.S.” and “navigable waters” so that many of our freshwater wetlands are no longer protected under the CWA. These decisions have had significant negative impact locally, as thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands in the To continue to succeed in watershed surrounding Galveston our efforts to preserve and Bay have been filled in the last However, some also look at protect Galveston Bay, it is ten years. Fortunately, the current the Act as a glass half-full/ imperative that we ensure Administration is considering a half empty picture. Despite the law’s target of making all a strong and vibrant CWA rules package that will restore stays in place. of the nation’s waters fishable these protections to the CWA, but and swimmable by 1985, an it is unclear if and when those estimated 35% of U.S. waters remain unfit for rules will be finalized. (You may still submit fishing and swimming today. Robert Adler, an comments at www.whitehouse.gov encouraging the environmental lawyer who wrote a book on the Administration to make these rules final.) CWA’s 20th anniversary, says that while the CWA has been successful in reducing pollution In summary, we have had incredible successes from major sources, it has been less effective over the last 40 years with the Clean Water Act, at curbing pollutants from nonpoint sources— and there is much of which we can be proud. runoff from cities, farms, and other intensive Our nation’s waters and Galveston Bay have truly land uses. Nonpoint source runoff has not been benefited from the Act. But we cannot take those subject to nearly as strict a regulatory regime, successes for granted. The job is far from done, and the consensus is that those programs have and there are forces working to weaken to CWA as not been as successful. This, too, is apparent it enters its fifth decade. To continue to succeed in around Galveston Bay, as nearly all of our major our efforts to preserve and protect Galveston Bay, tributaries fail to meet all of our water quality it is imperative that we ensure a strong and vibrant standards. Our partner entity, the Galveston Bay CWA stays in place. Estuary Program, identifies contaminated storm water runoff as the top water quality problem facing Galveston Bay.


Winter 2013

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GBF’s Young Professional Group Launched and Growing Unique social and service events and fieldwork opportunities draw working professionals and college students to “The Cast” to become stewards of the bay

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he Galveston Bay Foundation launched its new affiliate young professionals group, The Cast, in spring 2012. Cast members raise awareness of the importance of Galveston Bay and become leaders in Houston’s conservation community, helping GBF better fulfill its mission. The Cast is a diverse group of working professionals who engage in a variety of recreational, educational, and service events and gather to celebrate the bay during quarterly happy hours. In addition, a Cast collegiate group provides unique field experience and professional networking opportunities for undergraduate and graduate level students.

GBF thanks our former legal intern Clayton Forswall, and friends Lauren Bricker, Melissa Denman, and Frank Donnelly, founding Cast committee members, for their vision and drive to launch a young professionals group this year. Special thanks also goes to Rebecca Gregg, a senior at Texas A&M in Galveston and a 2012 summer intern at GBF, for her work to establish a collegiate group and promote GBF’s programming to student organizations throughout the greater Houston area. With their leadership and endless energy, GBF looks forward to growing an active young professionals group

with members who enjoy serving as ambassadors for and stewards of the bay. Since the group’s launch in April, Cast members have participated in GBF’s Marsh Mania grass planting event celebrating National Estuaries Day on September 29 and celebrated at happy hours taking place at Ragin’ Cajun and Boheme Café & Wine Bar in Houston. November events included attending The Progressive Forum featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., networking with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Bayou Buddies at a happy hour at J. Black’s, and celebrating GBF’s 25th anniversary with GBF members and volunteers on November 27. To celebrate the holidays this December, Cast members attended a watch party of League City’s 51st Annual Christmas Lane Boat Parade at Portofino Harbour Marina at special invitation from GBF Trustee Philip Kropf. GBF looks forward to seeing existing and new Cast members at happy hours and project events in the new year. The Cast committee will meet in January (and regularly throughout the year) to discuss partnership and project Top and middle: Young professionals ideas. We are interested in growing our attend The Cast happy hour at Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar this summer. Bottom: Cast leadership committee in 2013. If you’re members Clayton and Emily Forswall plant a young professional or a college student marsh grass at Marsh Mania. interested in serving on The Cast leadership committee, please contact Jessica at jcurran@galvbay.org or (281) 332-3381 x213. events by liking our group page on Facebook. Questions? Contact Jessica at jcurran@ galvbay.org or (281) 332-3381 x213. For more information on the benefits of Cast membership or to join the group, please visit The Cast website at www.galvbay.org/thecast. html. You can stay up-to-date on current

Please minimize your use of the garbage disposal so you do not accidently contribute to sewer overflows. Instead of putting vegetables and fruits down the disposal, compost them or throw them in the trash. Place non-compostable items like meat in the trash. And never place any fats, oils or grease (FOG) in the disposal or any other drain; they can cause clogs in your plumbing or in sewer lines and lead to overflows of untreated sewage that drain to the bay.


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Galveston Bay Foundation

BiKe around the BaY raises environmental awareness GBF showcases Galveston Bay to a new record number of registered cyclists, as the ride continues to grow and improve

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ore than 750 riders, ranging in age from nine to 85, pedaled 180 miles around Galveston Bay during the sixth annual Bike Around the Bay on October 13 and 14. For the third year in a row, Shell was the title sponsor of this two-day event that raises awareness of Galveston Bay and the importance of the Galveston Bay Foundation’s conservation and restoration work. The combined generosity of Shell, several other event sponsors, and the personal fundraising efforts of more than 960 registered cyclists raised more than $310,000. These funds enable GBF to continually improve the ride and carry out our mission of preserving, protecting, and enhancing Galveston Bay. GBF President Bob Stokes stated, “This ride supports our efforts to preserve wetlands, protect natural habitat, and enhance the water quality of the bay. We give riders a frontrow seat to the bay during this ride, and it helps in our education work and advocacy.” This year was particularly momentous as it marked the first time that Bike Around the Bay cyclists circumnavigated Galveston Bay. Cyclists began and ended their ride in Mont Belvieu, passing through several bay area communities and natural areas throughout the weekend. On day one, cyclists rode

the Bay and a feature of the route that cyclists by the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge prepare for and talk about throughout the ride. and through High Island (the highest point This year, the bridge gained more significance. on the Gulf Coast between the Yucatan During Bike Around the Bay 2010, cyclists Peninsula and Alabama) before stopping John Clem and Rese Fox met and became for lunch at Stingaree Restaurant & Marina. friends. On day two of this year’s ride, cyclists This lunch stop, manned by GBF Board climbing to the top of the bridge passed over Member Mike Petit and friends as well a spray painted sign reading, “Rese, will you as Stingaree employees, is a highlight for marry me?” Rese said yes to John’s proposal riders as the seating area overlooks the at the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge, and Intracoastal Waterway in Crystal Beach. they celebrated their engagement and Cyclists then enjoyed a ride on the Bolivar another successful ride at the finish line. Ferry to Galveston Island, where they stayed Congratulations, John and Rese! overnight. A dinner at Moody Gardens Hotel and Conference Center We give riders a front-row Views of Galveston Bay provided an opportunity seat to the bay during throughout the ride are another for cyclists to visit with this ride, and it helps in highlight of Bike Around the friends, family, and other our education work and Bay. Senator Rodney Ellis, riders and to learn more one of this year’s cyclists, advocacy. about GBF’s work to shared, “There’s really no way preserve the bay over the - Bob Stokes you would experience what last 25 years. GBF President Galveston Bay has to offer unless you’re on a bicycle. You get to see a lot On the second day, cyclists crossed over the Galveston Causeway, rode along the Texas City of things that you really wouldn’t pay attention to if you’re in a car. It’s a real chance to get levee and through the bayside communities up close and personal with the bay.” Ellis also of Kemah and Seabrook, enjoyed lunch credits Shell for its involvement with the ride, prepared by longtime Bike Around the Bay stating, “You don’t realize what an important volunteers and served by CenterPoint Energy role energy companies, like Shell, play in volunteers at Sylvan Beach Park in La Porte, protecting this bay. I appreciate Shell for doing and conquered the Fred Hartman Bridge on it and hope they will continue to do so for their way back to Mont Belvieu. many years to come.” The Fred Hartman Bridge has always been one of the most defining highlights of Bike Around

Continued on page 9


Winter 2013

A BIG thanks to our top 20 fundraisers in 2012! Russ Boullion Michael McKenzie Bob Stokes Scott Aspelin Jason Hughes Madeline Woods David Freeman David Eskins Morris Olivier Jonathon Moore Rick Hauck Courtenay Clifford Theodore Brooks Blaine Douglas

Greg Blackburn Steven Mugridge Julienne Sugarek Lythia Powell Kim Lyrtle Ben Davila Kira Matukaitis Paul Hesson And a special thanks to Jeff Myerson, GBF Board Member, and Bob Stokes, GBF President, for riding in Bike Around the Bay 2012!

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Galveston Bay Foundation

redFish raFt-uP 2012

Annual party on Galveston Bay brings awareness to the Bay and helps fund GBF restoration projects

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or the eighth year, bay enthusiasts Redfish Raft-Up began in 2002, when the came by the hundreds to join in the fun owner of Star Fleet Yachts, Tom Lober, had and listen to Kelly McGuire play from the Star the idea to hold a party on the Bay each Gazer yacht during Redfish Raft-Up. The event year to benefit GBF. Sadly, Tom passed away is held each year on Labor Day at Redfish in 2009. Since then, Redfish Raft-Up has Island to bring awareness to Galveston Bay, continued each year in memory of Tom Lober. with a percentage Amy Alton, Tom’s Not only is Redfish Raft-Up important of the profits daughter and current because of our customers, but it’s donated directly to owner of Star Fleet important because of our staff members the Galveston Bay Yachts, explains the who love working it, and our company as Foundation. This importance of the support to the Galveston Bay Foundation. event: “Not only is year’s event sold out early, with 100+ the Redfish Raft-Up - Amy Alton Owner, Star Fleet Yachts people reserving important because of their spot on the our customers, but it’s Star Gazer, which included dinner and drinks important because of our staff members who and up-close access to the concert. love working it, and our company as support

to the Galveston Bay Foundation.” GBF would like to thank Star Fleet Yachts for their continuous support of the Galveston Bay Foundation, as well as Maritime Sanitation, the Port of Houston Authority, and Dow Chemical for sponsoring for this year’s event.

Below: Attendees on the Star Gazer and on personal watercraft enjoy music by local musician Kelly McGuire.

suPPort GBF throuGh worKPlaCe GivinG!

Government and corporate employees can easily contribute to GBF through payroll deduction

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he Galveston Bay Foundation partners with EarthShare of Texas to provide an opportunity for city, state, federal,

earthshare-texas.org/workplace-givingcampaigns.org.

If your company or agency does not offer EarthShare of Texas as a workplace giving option and you would like more information,

and corporate employees to support environmental organizations through workplace giving and payroll deduction. If you work for a participating company or government agency, please consider GBF when making your workplace giving decisions!

Galveston Bay Foundation codes for a few of the largest participating agencies including: Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): 182557 State Employee Combined Campaign (SECC): 035599 Houston Combined Municipal Campaign (HCMC): 1484 Houston Independent School District (HISD): 192 City of Austin (COACCC): 1813

please contact Jessica Curran at (281) 3323381 x213 or jcurran@galvbay.org.

For a list of participating government agencies and companies, visit EarthShare of Texas’s Workplace Giving website, www.

To learn more about EarthShare of Texas and their work to support the Galveston Bay Foundation and over 70 other local, regional, and national environmental and conservation organizations, visit www.earthshare-texas.org.


Winter 2013

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GBan Created For water QualitY rePortinG Galveston Bay Action Network (GBAN) tracks water pollution reports and positive actions to improve water quality

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ave you ever wondered who to call when you see water pollution, or what happens after you report a potential violation to an enforcement agency? GBF has developed the Galveston Bay Action Network (GBAN), a web app that allows you to map your water pollution reports and send them to GBF and provides links to contact information for submitting reports to local authorities. Submitting a GBAN report is quick and simple, can be done from a computer or smartphone, and allows you to upload a video or photo of the incident. GBAN also contains categories for reporting positive actions that you take to keep our water clean, such as picking up trash and properly disposing of cooking grease. You can even choose for your report to be posted anonymously, which is an attractive option for those who want to do the right thing but may not be comfortable with their name being broadcast.

The goal of GBAN is to use the power of internet technology and citizen involvement to make reporting water quality concerns easier. GBF believes that community members can be extremely powerful advocates for clean water when they know their efforts are leading to positive results for our bay. GBAN has the ability to bridge the communication gap between citizens submitting a report and enforcement action being taken by allowing GBF to track and follow up on these reports. As a GBAN user, you will have the option to setup a profile page for managing your reports and can earn badges in recognition for your reporting activity. You can also choose to receive email alerts when new reports are posted by selecting your area of concern on the map and specifying the types of reports that interest you.

Those wishing to report water pollution or view our interactive map, can visit www.galvbay.org/ gban.html

Check out the Galveston Bay Action Network at www.galvbay.org/GBAN and start submitting reports and positive actions today! For questions or to request for your group to receive a live demo, contact Charlene Bohanon at cbohanon@ galvbay.org. Please help us spread the word about GBAN and recruit your friends to “Be the Eyes on Your Bay!�


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Galveston Bay Foundation

Students illustrate the beauty and multiple uses of Galveston Bay

GBF showcases the natural beauty of Galveston Bay through the annual childen’s art calendar.

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alveston Bay represents many things to the people who live, work, and recreate nearby--a profitable commercial fishery, international shipping channel and port, petrochemical capitol, tourism and ecotourism destination, recreational haven, and an intimate way of life. To the abundance of plants and animals found in Galveston Bay, it is a 600+ square mile haven of shelter and food sources consisting of diverse habitats such as marshes, seagrass meadows, oyster reefs, riparian woodlands, rookery islands, mud and sand flats, and open bay water and bottom. GBF’s educational programs aim to increase the recognition of the positive quality-of-life benefits that a healthy Galveston Bay system provides for the entire Houston-Galveston region. One of the ways in which we strive to do so is through our annual Galveston Bay Children’s Art Calendar.

Each year, fifth graders from the Galveston Bay area depict the beauty and multiple uses of Galveston Bay through artwork. In preparation for this, GBF’s education staff provides students with an introduction to Galveston Bay through our popular Bay Ambassador presentation. Students then do their own research and convey their new knowledge and views of the bay through the visual arts. Out of the hundreds of artworks prepared by students, GBF selects fourteen winners to be highlighted in the annual Galveston Bay Children’s Art Calendar. GBF works to widely distribute these one-of-a-kind calendars to inspire people to recognize and respect the multitude of ways that Galveston Bay benefits us all. The calendar is currently in production, so be on the lookout for your 2013 calendar in January!

www.galvbay.org

GBF Celebrate 25 Years

(continued from cover)

Corporation, Congressman Gene Green, and Cynthia and Don Stevenson for their continued stewardship of Galveston Bay. Some of GBF’s original trustees, including Jim Blackburn, George Bolin, Glenda Callaway, Frank Fisher, Terry Hershey, Ray Holbrook, Frank Smith, and Sharron Stewart were in attendance at the event and were recognized for their roles in founding GBF in 1987. Current trustees presented GBF President Bob Stokes with a gift of appreciation for his contributions toward GBF’s success. From the beginning, the Galveston Bay Foundation was designed to involve a true cross-section of Bay interests to address issues and concerns related to Galveston Bay, and this approach continues today. Keynote speaker, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, praised the Galveston Bay Foundation for its consensus building approach and spoke about the multiple benefits of the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area. Local news celebrity and Galveston supporter, Frank Billingsley, emceed this year’s event, and luncheon guests included community and industry notables Philamena and Arthur Baird, Berdon Lawrence, John Nau, Joe Pyne, and former Houston Mayor Bill White. We sincerely thank you for all that you have done to help us get where we are today and to guide us in embarking on our next 25 years. The Galveston Bay Foundation is a community-based organization, and our activities simply do not happen without the support of our members, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders.


Winter 2013

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2012 Guardian of the Bay Award Luncheon Thank you to our Sponsors Guardian Kirby Corporation ~ Kathrine G. McGovern/McGovern Foundation

Protector Apache Corporation ~ Bill King/Southwest Airport Services ~ NRG Energy Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. ~ Cynthia and Don Stevenson/Madlin Stevenson Foundation

Advocate Exxon Mobil Corporation ~ The Friedkin Group ~ Burkely and Tim Herbert KBR, Inc. ~ John W. Lodge, III/Lodge Lumber Company Martin Marine ~ The Modern Group, Ltd / The Will Crenshaw Family Doug Pitcock ~ Port of Houston Authority ~ Rosemary and Matt Schatzman ~ Shell and Motiva Texas Corinthian Yacht Club ~ Texas Waterway Operators Association ~ Vinson & Elkins LLP

Donor The AECOM and Gahagan & Bryant Joint Venture ~ Amegy Bank ~ Baker Botts L.L.P. Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors ~ Buffalo Marine Service, Inc. ~ CenterPoint Energy City of Nassau Bay ~ DeMontrond Automotive Group ~ The Dow Chemical Company Doyle, Restrepo, Harvin & Robbins, LLP ~ East Harris County Manufacturers Association Icon Bank of Texas ~ Jackson, Gilmour & Dobbs, PC ~ Kirksey ~ Janiece Longoria ~ Merrill Lynch/Peter S. Meyer Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center ~ Ocean Shipholdings ~ Rowan Companies, Inc. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. ~ Kathy and Mike Sutton ~ U.S. Pipeline, Inc.

Friends and Sponsor Couples Patsy and Michael Andrews ~ Andrews Kurth ~ Denise and Philip Bahr ~ Susan and Jim Baker Cindy and John Bartos ~ Thomas Bell ~ Frank Billingsley ~ Ginger and Jack Blanton Peter H. Brown ~ Kristina and George Busceme ~ Cheryl Byington ~ Glenda Callaway/Ekistics Corporation Michael and Rebecca Cemo Family Foundation ~ Margi and Rocky Chase Laura and Bruce Crawford ~ George A. Dodge ~ Ellen and Frank Donnelly, Jr. ~ Gracia and Robert Duncan Debbie Pontikes Ellis ~ Nanette and Jerry Finger ~ Charlotte and Jimmy Fontenot Marion S. Hargrove ~ Stacy and Scott Humphries ~ Courtney and Curtis Hutcheson ~ Johnson Space Center Federal Credit Union ~ Elizabeth Winston Jones ~ Lynn and Ty Kelly Ann and Tom Kelsey ~ Roger M. Rowe and Helen W. Lane, PhD ~ Winkie and Jerry Mohn Rachel and John Moody ~ Kenneth A. Newberry ~ Michaela and Taylor Norris ~ Cabrina and Stephen Owsley Pappas Restaurants ~ Elizabeth and Mike Petit ~ Ellen and Stoney Petit Jennifer Smith and Peter Ragauss ~ Susan and Barrett Reasoner ~ Beth Robertson ~ Regina Rogers Samson Energy Company, LLC ~ T. Adger Satterfield ~ Katherine and Frank Smith JJ and Gerry Spedale ~ Star Fleet ~ Sterling Associates ~ Valero Refining Judy and Terrance Vinson ~ Randa Duncan Williams ~ Wallace S. Wilson ~ Betsy and Jim Winn

Left: GBF original trustees gathered at our special Founders’ Table (front Row, left to right) Frank Smith, Terry Hershey, Glenda Callaway, Sharron Stewart; (second row, left to right) Ray Holbrook, Frank Fisher, George Bolin Top Right: U.S. Congressman Gene Green, Helen Green, The Honorable James A. Baker, III Bottom: Current trustees present a gift of appreciation to GBF President Bob Stokes. (Left to right) Bill King, James Doyle, Don Stevenson, Cynthia Stevenson, Macey Stokes, Bob Stokes, George Pontikes

GBF Welcomes New Education Coordinator Rachel Barski joined GBF as the Education Coordinator in September 2012. Rachel received a B.S. in Communication with a minor in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University. She has been an educator for the past four years and has spent much of her recent time fostering an integrated approach between indoor and outdoor education. She enjoys watching students/children use their time to explore the vast outdoors.


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Galveston Bay Foundation

national estuaries daY CeleBrated at Fall marsh mania

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n September 29, 2012, nearly 200 GBF volunteers helped to restore Galveston Bay wetlands. 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 event to plant smooth

cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) at a marsh restoration site 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 the National Partnership between NOAA’s

Bike Around the Bay (continued from page 3) GBF is grateful for Shell’s continued support of Bike Around the Bay, both the company’s generous financial contribution and the investment of time, volunteers, and other resources that help ensure a successful ride. We also greatly appreciate the commitment of returning and new cash and in-kind sponsors including Accenture, Albemarle Foundation, Bike Barn, Burns & McDonnell, CenterPoint

on the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the carbon generated by Bike Around the Bay, while Whole Earth Provisions contributed $10 gift certificates for all Bike Around the Bay cyclists and volunteers.

social investment and allows us to make commitments to the environment, create an event our employees and the community can participate in and benefit the Galveston Bay Foundation.”

Several corporate supporters engaged employees and clients in creating company cycling teams. These included a CenterPoint Energy team captained by GBF Board

Volunteer support is integral to the success of Bike Around the Bay, and most all cyclists comment on the kindness, hospitality, and overall number of volunteers who help them throughout ride weekend. From on-site registration and breakpoint volunteers to SAG team members and motorcycle marshals, volunteers can be found at nearly all points along the ride. They provide Gatorade and snacks at over 15 breakpoints, provide directions and moral support along tougher portions of the route, and help ensure rider safety.

You don’t realize what an important role energy companies, like Shell, play in protecting this bay. I appreciate Shell for doing it and hope they will continue to do so for many years to come. - Rodney Ellis Texas State Senator

Energy, Insperity, The Moody Foundation, Momentum Audi, Port of Houston Authority, Reliant an NRG company, Samson Energy, Sonic Automotive, Waste Management, and Whole Earth Provisions Company. For the second consecutive year, Reliant, an NRG company, retired 500 metric tons of carbon

Member Jeff Myerson, a team of more than 50 cyclists from Shell/Motiva, and teams from Accenture, Albemarle, Bike Barn, and Burns & McDonnell. These cyclists genuinely appreciate their company’s support of the ride. Todd Nunnally, program general manager for Shell, said, “It’s an important part of our

Bike Around the Bay 2012 was made possible thanks to the following sponsors:

THE MOODY FOUNDATION

‘Shell on Wheels’ motorcycle volunteer Chad Slater said, “Seeing the first bike rider approaching the finish line was an emotional moment for me. It told a story of valor, goal setting and triumph despite how big the challenge is. I am already looking forward to serving the needs of this event next year and possibly riding…that’s pedaling, not throttling!” Save the date for next year’s ride! Bike Around the Bay is scheduled for October 12 and 13, 2013. “Like” Bike Around the Bay on Facebook for registration and other updates, and visit www.bikearoundthebay.org for general ride information.


Winter 2013

NATIONAL OC EA

Marsh Mania 2012 is made possible thanks to the following sponsors: D ATMOSPHER AN IC

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EP

AR

ER

S.

CE

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Volunteers are pictured here planting marsh grass at Marsh Mania in Texas City.

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TRATION NIS MI AD

Community-based Restoration Program and Restore America’s Estuaries and through the donation of marsh vegetation from NRG Energy.

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SPOTLIGHT ON: volunteers lisa and diCK mCGoniGle

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very effort that the Galveston Bay Foundation makes to preserve the bay is spearheaded by GBF staff, but it’s success is due in large part to the hard work of volunteers who share a love for Galveston Bay that help assure that these efforts come to fruition. Many volunteers spend countless hours working behind the scenes assisting in GBF events year-after-year wishing for nothing in return but the gratification of knowing they’ve helped preserve Galveston Bay. During this season of thanks, we recognize Dick and Lisa McGonigle, two of our most dedicated volunteers who have been actively involved in GBF events for more than six years. The volunteering duo has volunteered with several environmentally focused groups over the years, which stems from their interest in the outdoors. “Our love for fishing, birding, kayaking and conservation issues led us to Galveston Bay Foundation’s doorstep. After many years of memberships in and support from the

sidelines of other conservation heroes, our involvement in GBF (among numerous other organizations)…has allowed a couple of thirsty souls to pitch in, get our hands dirty and feel good.”

Dick and Lisa can also be found paddling around at Redfish Raft-Up, an event that Dick describes as one of the “greatest parties on the bay.” Enjoying the camaraderie and music, Dick and Lisa paddle from boat to boat visiting with friends and fellow bay enthusiasts.

Dick, a practicing trial lawyer, board member of Scenic Galveston, and avid outdoorsman, Dick shares his perspective on volunteering and Lisa have for GBF and why ...our involvement in GBF (among managed to find it’s remained numerous other organizations)…has time in their busy important for both allowed a couple of thirsty souls to pitch schedules to him and Lisa: “It is in, get our hands dirty and feel good. remain devout amazing how so few in helping volunteers can make - Dick McGonigle GBF Volunteer to preserve such a difference our coastal in protecting our ecosystems. Both are actively involved in most Galveston Bay with the pressures of industry GBF events, including Marsh Mania, Trash and 6 million people crowding around the Bash, Bike Around the Bay, and bay. It’s equally amazing how resourceful Redfish Raft-Up. Both and dedicated nonprofit organizations like the Lisa and Dick are avid Galveston Bay Foundation can channel energy paddlers and have and conviction with limited funds into results brought along their that can shape and protect the world we pass kayaks to a number of on to our children. It’s quite humbling to be our water-based efforts. one of the smallest cogs in the machinery.” For the last two years, Lisa joined us in our If you’re inspired by the McGonigles and on-the-water effort interested in becoming a volunteer and helping at Trash Bash at GBF continue our mission of preserving, Armand Bayou, protecting, and enhancing Galveston Bay, and Dick was please contact Julie Mintzer at jmintzer@ able to come in galvbay.org. 2011.


GALVESTON BAY FOUNDATION 17330 Highway 3 Webster, TX 77598 p: 281.332.3381 f: 281.332.3153 www.galvbay.org gbf@galvbay.org

Photos in this issue of the GBF Gazette contributed by: Gene Fisseler Andrew Hancock Maggie Sweeney Hugh Hargrave GBF Staff

GBF is a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with EarthShare of Texas and with Restore America’s Estuaries.

GBF Gazette underwriting provided by our valued partner, the Port of Houston Authority.


GBF Gazette - Winter 2013