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. The Foundation was incorporated in July 1987, and is a non-profit organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. GBF continues to serve Galveston, Harris, Chambers, and Brazoria counties, as well as interested residents throughout Texas.
A strong Board of Trustees manages the Foundation. Representatives from sport and commercial fishing groups, government agencies, recreational users, environmental groups, shipping, development, and business interests serve on the board of GBF and provide a broad cross-section of Bay users to identify problems and seek solutions to issues facing Galveston Bay.
Throughout its twenty years of service to the Galveston Bay area, GBF has earned numerous awards and prestigious honors, including a Texas Environmental Excellence Award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Gulf of Mexico Gulf Guardian Award in 2000. In 1999, the Galveston Bay Foundation was the recipient of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís Non-Governmental Organization of the Year Award. GBF also received a 5-Star Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for its community-based restoration efforts surrounding the very successful Marsh Bash 1999 event. Recently, GBF was awarded a 2007 first place Gulf Guardian Award for participation on the East Bay Wetland and Water Quality Protection project team.
With its partners, GBF has successfully supported passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of the Bay: the Texas Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, the Texas Estuaries Act, the Texas Coastal Management Program, and the Federal Clean Waters and Estuary Restoration Act of 2000.
GBF's Habitat Conservation Blueprint, an inventory of restoration sites, strategies, and resources, is considered a model for regional and national restoration plans. Both the technical and condensed documents provide the lay person with clearly defined environmental terms and habitat types, detailed maps, and ways citizens can involve themselves in estuary protection.
As part of its conservation activities, GBF owns about 3,000 acres of property identified as having significant habitat or educational value. This acreage, conserved for the future, allows GBF to demonstrate restoration and management techniques for use in the Bay system.
GBF has delivered its signature Bay Ambassador Presentation, and abbreviated exhibit talk thousands of times, reaching a collective audience of nearly 100,000 participants. Galveston Bay Expeditions, GBF's outdoor education program, annually draws close to 1,000 participants who explore the Bay as part of youth, adult, family, or teacher expeditions. Thousands more are introduced to the Bay each year through GBF's Bay Day festival and celebration.