P!Nterview: Wetlands Vital to Healthy Coastal Communities
Gulf of Mexico

Bill Finch, Director of Conservation and External Affairs with The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, explains the role that wetlands play in mitigating the effects of major storms, and how the Gulf oil spill might adversely affect those ecosystems.

Q: In coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard, how do wetlands help mitigate the effects of major storms?
A: Marshes may play their most critical role in protecting shorelines day in and day out. Most shoreline erosion in the U.S. is the result of daily erosion. A three-foot high wave, for example, can easily knock down a sturdy brick wall, and even waves in the 1- to 3-foot range will clobber a bare shoreline. Thick marsh grasses bend with those waves, dissipating the energy, so that the waves have no energy left by the time they get to the hard shoreline. When you lose those marshes, on the other hand, you not only lose that dampening effect, you also effectively increase the water depth near the shoreline. And the greater the water depth, the bigger the waves can get. So big waves get closer to the shoreline, multiplying the damage. Loss of marsh grasses and oyster reefs may be a primary culprit in day-to-day shoreline losses approaching 15 feet a year (!) in places in Mobile Bay. Similar or greater rates are noted at multiple points in the Gulf and on the Atlantic Coast More

PLAN!T NOW to Aid Community College Students
Miami, FL

Miami, FL – PLAN!T NOW (P!N) has teamed with Scholarship America to provide scholarship aid for four community college students in the coastal United States as part of its 2010 PIN Hurricane Relief Scholarship Program (HRS P!N). Through this program, P!N will award four academic scholarships of $2,500 each to community college students studying natural hazard sciences, such as weather research, engineering, chemistry and other fields that help predict or mitigate the impacts of natural disasters on human life.

In 2008, as a means of improving hurricane preparedness in high-risk regions in the United States, P!N created the Hurricane Relief Scholarship Award for college students severely impacted by hurricanes or tropical storms. The award is given to students at four-year colleges and universities who, despite suffering significant setbacks, demonstrate academic and/or service excellence, an inner drive to succeed and a willingness to use their life experiences as teachable moments to encourage hurricane preparedness for others. P!N HRS Dreamkeepers is an exciting part of the program’s growth, now reaching the community college network. More

Celebrity Activists
Clean-up continues as officials begin discussing long-term recovery
Nine days after the waters of the Cumberland River reached their highest point in this month’s flooding disaster in Nashville, Tenn., Middle Tennessee continues to face a slow recovery as 42 counties have been named federal disaster areas.
News Archives
June 01, 2010 — Agatha Swipes Central America; Death Toll Continues to Rise
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April 23, 2010 — A Southern Season to Host Hurricane Preparedness Week
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April 07, 2010 — Plan!t Now, led by Morgan Freeman, Partners with Rebuilding Together for Katrina Anniversary Rebuild Event: Fifty for Five
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January 23, 2010 — P!N Co-founder Morgan Freeman Emcees Hope for Haiti Telethon
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