E-Newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
November 28, 2014
In This Issue

GOMA WEB RESOURCES

Check it out!  GOMA's website now contains useful regional resources: 


Events calendar lists upcoming conferences, symposia, and meetings. 

Employment Opportunities lists job postings from regional partners.

Gulf Observations & Monitoring information is now available.   

Gulf Guardian Awards
Complete an application and email your nomination to GulfGuardian@epa.gov by January 15, 2015. English and Spanish versions are available. For more information contact The Gulf of Mexico Program Office at (228) 688-3726.

Coastal Training Workshops
Stream Classification Course
Dec 9-11, 2014 seats available

ArcGIS I: Introduction to GIS
Dec 17-18, 2014 FULL

Low Impact Design Workshop Series
 - Bioretention Design & Vegetation
   Jan 28, 2015
 - Swale, Level Spreader, & Vegetated
   Design January 29, 2015
 - Constructed Stormwater Wetland
   Design February 25, 2015
 - Permeable Pavement Design
   February 26, 205

For more information go to http://www.gulfalliancetraining.org/
PRIORITY ISSUE TEAM CONFERENCE CALLS:
 
Contact Team Coordinators for upcoming calls or meetings; see  Quick Links below.
Mapping Regional Restoration: 
DWH Project Tracker
GOMA's Restoration Project Map is being enhanced to the future DWH Project Tracker. It will allow users to view restoration projects as well as research activities in progress across the Gulf.  Click here to see the site!
project screenshot_ngi
Currently, the site contains projects from GOMA, GoMRI, NFWF, and NRDA. The DWH Project Tracker will be inclusive to all settlement funding programs.  
Quick Links
Alliance Management Team

Water Quality Priority Issue Team

Habitat Conservation & Restoration Priority Issue Team

Ecosystems Integration & Assessment Priority Issue Team

Nutrients & Nutrient Reduction Priority Issue Team

Coastal Community Resilience Priority Issue Team

Environmental Education Priority Issue Team

GOMA Headquarters Staff
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sign out front, you can't miss us. Stop by 1151 Robinson Street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and we'll show you around.
November is a Big Month for Gulf Restoration

November has been a big month for Gulf restoration initiatives as several regional projects were announced or nominated for funding.  

NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION (NFWF)
On November 17, NFWF announced the award of nearly $100 million dollars for new restoration projects on the Gulf Coast as part of their Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. This is the second award announcement for NFWF since 2013. Below is a comprehensive list of funded projects within each state. Follow the state links to learn more about each. 

 

Alabama 

  Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Assessment 

  Coastal Habitat Restoration Planning Initiative 

  Enhanced Fisheries Monitoring in Alabama's Marine Waters 

  Alabama Marine Mammal Conservation and Recovery Program 

  Restoration and Enhancement of Oyster Reefs 

  D'Olive Watershed Restoration 

  Fowl River Watershed Restoration - Phase I

Florida 

  Florida Shorebird Conservation Initiative

  Benthic Habitat Mapping, Characterization and Assessment

  Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration in Saint Andrew Bay

  Restoration of Florida's Coastal Dune Lakes

  Bayou Chico Restoration

  Destin Harbor, Joe's Bayou, and Indian Bayou Water Quality   Improvement

  Boggy Bayou Watershed Water Quality Improvement

  Restoration and Management of Escribano Point Coastal Habitat Phase I and Phase II

  Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Phase I and Phase II

  Government Street Regional Stormwater Pond at Corrine Jones Park

  Apalachicola Bay Oyster Restoration

  Comprehensive Panhandle Coastal Bird Conservation

  Eliminating Light Pollution on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches

 

Louisiana 

  Adaptive Management: Louisiana River Diversions & Barrier Islands

  Caminada Beach and Dune Increment II: Engineering & Design (2013)   Construction (2014)

  East Timbalier Island: Engineering & Design

  Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion: Engineering & Design

  Lower Mississippi River Sediment Diversions: Planning

  Increase Atchafalaya Flow to Terrebonne: Planning

 

Mississippi

  Utilization of Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi

  Invasive Species Management on Coastal State Land

  Reef Fish Assessment for Mississippi Coastal and Nearshore Gulf Waters

  Mississippi Coastal Restoration Plan

  Audubon Coastal Bird Stewardship Program in Mississippi

  Mississippi Coastal Preserves Program

  Coastal Streams and Habitat Initiative

 

Texas 

  Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Marsh Acquisition

  Coastal Heritage Preserve Initiative: Bayside Acquisition and Easement

  Virginia Point Shoreline Protection and Estuarine Restoration

  Oyster Lake Shoreline Protection and Restoration

  Greens Lake Protection and Marsh Restoration: Engineering & Design

  Dollar Bay-Moses Lake Shoreline Enhancement and Restoration

  Egery Flats Marsh Restoration

  Nueces Bay Rookery Islands Restoration

  Powderhorn Ranch Land Acquisition

  Sea Rim State Park Coastal Dune Restoration

  Galveston Island State Park Marsh Restoration & Protection

  West Galveston Bay Conservation Corridor Habitat Preservation

  Oyster Reef Restoration in East Bay

  Gulf Coast Migratory Waterfowl Habitat Enhancement 


GULF OF MEXICO RESEARCH INITIATIVE

On November 14, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative announced the selection of 12 research consortia to conduct scientific studies of the impacts of oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and public health.

  • Nova Southeastern University, "Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico," Lead Investigator Tracey Sutton
  • University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, "Relationship of Effects of Cardiac Outcomes in Fish for Validation of Ecological Risk," Lead Investigator Martin Grosell
  • University of Texas at Austin, "Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies," Lead Investigator Edward Buskey
  • University of Southern Mississippi, "Consortium for Oil Spill Exposure Pathways in Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems," Lead Investigator Monty Graham
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, "Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center," Lead Investigator Natalia Sidorovskaia
  • Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium/Dauphin Island Sea Lab, "Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience," Lead Investigator John Valentine
  • Texas A&M University, "Role of Microbial Exopolymers in Aggregation and Degradation of Oil and Dispersants," Lead Investigator Antonietta Quigg
  • Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, "Coastal Waters Consortium," Lead Investigator Nancy Rabalais
  • University of Miami, "The Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment II," Lead Investigator Tamay Özgökmen
  • RAND Corporation Gulf States Policy Institute, "Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities," Lead Investigator Melissa Finucane
  • The University of Georgia, "Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf - 2," Lead Investigator Samantha Joye
  • University of South Florida, "The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems II," Lead Investigator Steven Murawski

GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL
Also on November 17, members of the RESTORE Council nominated projects for funding through Bucket 2 of the RESTORE Act.  Several Gulf states announced their nominations to the RESTORE Council project selection process. See the Gulf Restoration Update section, below, for those projects submitted to the Council from select states.  All nominated projects will be made available to the public by the RESTORE Council very soon.

Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Update
The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker development team is making excellent progress. To date, the look and functionality of the site has been drafted, customizable search criteria have been researched and are being used to incorporate available project information.

The site will be unique because it will have user-friendly summary features. These will provide big picture overviews in conjunction with comprehensive lists of individual projects inclusive to all settlement funding sources. Partners anticipate a beta version of the site will be available for viewing in early 2015. A summary of the new web tool can be downloaded from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Restoration web page.

Announcements and Transitions

GOMA HEADQUARTERS OFFICE
baby-blocks-banner.jpg The Gulf of Mexico Alliance headquarters office is growing! Please join us in welcoming Collins Claire Pressly, born on November 6th and James Carrig Sempier, born on November 11th.  Collins is the first-born of Devany Pressly, GOMA's Event Coordinator, and James is the newest addition to the family of GOMA's Program Manager, Tracie Sempier.  

BARATARIA-TERREBONNE NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM
The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is pleased to announce that Susan Testroet-Bergeron has been selected as the new program Director. Susan has been a supporter of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance since its inception. We look forward to continued partnerships with BTNEP through Ms. Testroet-Bergeron's leadership. 
 

EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Announces Proposal Awards

The EPA Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) has announced the results of its 2013 proposal process. In recent years, the GMP has aligned a number of its priorities with those of the region, including the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. This collaborative, regional association has helped  organizations to achieve their shared goals. The following programs will be implemented in 2015 as a result of funding from the EPA GMP: 

  • Brownsville Public Utilities Board Receives $300,000 for Conservation of Habitats
  • Florida Aquarium Receives over $161,000 to Expand Environmental Literacy
  • Houston-Galveston Area Council Receives $135,000 for Smart Growth
  • Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Receives $88,474 to Reduce the Gulf Hypoxic Zone
  • University of Mississippi Receives Over $250,000 to Promote Resilient Communities
  • Texas A&M University Receives Over $198,000 to Build Artificial Reef Habitats
  • Weeks Bay Foundation, Inc. Receives $270,566 to Increase Awareness and Action on Gulf Issues

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance congratulates the recipients and looks forward to supporting the efforts.

OPEN COMMENT PERIODS 

Gulf Offshore Aquaculture Plan Comment Period Reopening - By November 28 (formerly October 27), submit your comments on the Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico. The Plan will establish a regional permitting process to manage an environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in federal waters of the Gulf.

 

Request for Information on the Development of a Long Term Monitoring Plan for Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Mexico - BOEM, in cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is issuing a request for information to aid in the development of a long-term monitoring plan (LTMP) for marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The LTMP will focus on the potential impacts to marine mammals from geological and geophysical data acquisition activities, including seismic surveys. Comments are due December 8, 2014.   

 

NOAA Seeks Comments on Draft Science Plan for RESTORE Act Science Program - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released for public comment a draft version of the science plan for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program. Deadline for comment is December 15, 2014.  

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES   

  

NFWF and Wells Fargo 2015 Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program - provides funding opportunities to promote sustainable communities by supporting highly-visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Deadline is December 10, 2014.  

EPA 2015 EJ Small Grants Program -
The program seeks to fund projects with a "special emphasis on "community climate resiliency" (i.e., community-based preparedness and resilience efforts). The funding will also include projects without this focus. Deadline is December 15, 2014.

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative RFP-V is open for individual Investigators and Small Collaboratives. Letters of intent are due December 15, 2015 and Full Proposals are due March 13, 2015.

Rauschenberg Climate Change Solutions Fund - The purpose of fund is to provide resources for organizations working to either mitigate the causes of climate change or adapt to the new physical and social environments it generates. More specifically, the foundation is interested in mitigation and adaptation projects that combine climate-related work with civic engagement and culture. Letter of Intent due December 22, 2014.  

 

Walmart Community Grants Program - Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have identified four core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Women's Economic Empowerment or Career Opportunity. Deadline is December 31, 2014.   

 

Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLACES) Implementation Grants - Those working with youth to do environmental citizen science or student research projects are invited to submit proposals for funding and/or equipment/materials to help their efforts. Deadline is January 15, 2015.  

 

The 2015 Five Star/Urban Waters RFP is now live at: http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/2015RFP.aspx#.VFpJ_skQv0U 

Please direct anyone interested to that web page. Proposals are due February 3, 2015. 

 

Lawrence Foundation Grants for Environmental, Education, and Human Services Projects - The Lawrence Foundation awards grants in support of the environment, education, human services, disaster relief, and other causes.  The June grant cycle deadline is April 30, 2015.  

REGIONAL INITIATIVES  
Gulf Restoration Updates
The U.S. Department of Treasury finalized the Interim Final Rule or "Treasury Regs' on October 14, 2014. The Treasury Regulations can be found here.
  
RESTORE CouncilThe Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration    Council (RESTORE Council) is comprised of 5 Gulf States and 6 Federal Agencies. On November 17th, Council members nominated projects and programs for funding through "Bucket 2" of the RESTORE Act.  Each Council member could submit up to five projects and in early December,a list of projects nominated by all RESTORE Council members will be made available here.  The Council will now make selections for this first round of funding from those nominated and the selected projects will be included in a draft Funded Priorities List that will be published in 2015. For additional information on the submission and evaluation process and to get other materials go to the RESTORE Council's comprehensive website. 

Alabama:
  For complete information on Alabama Coastal Restoration see http://www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org/. For news from the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council go to http://www.restorealabama.org/.
 
Mississippi: Information on restoration activities in Mississippi is available through the Making Mississippi Whole website.  On November 13, Governor Bryant announced the state had submitted three proposals to the RESTORE Council. You can read more about these projects on the web site. Those projects are summarized as follows.
  • A coordinated multi-state strategy for land protection, conservation and enhancement of priority lands across the Gulf.
  • Creation of a Mississippi Sound Estuarine Program (MSEP) which will provide a structured network of scientists, citizens, and communities to focus on policy matters important to Mississippi's environment.
  • Coordination of a federal/state joint initiative to fund planning, engineering and design, and permitting of beneficial use materials and sites in an effort to expedite activities around readiness for large scale environmental project work to come in the coming months and years.

Florida:  Go to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) page for an overview of Florida's response to RESTORE. On November 17, Governor Scott announced five programs submitted to the Restore Council. They can be reviewed on the FDEP web site. The five are:
 

  • Pensacola Bay Watershed Restoration
  • Apalachicola Bay Watershed Restoration
  • Suwannee River Watershed Restoration and Preservation
  • Tampa Bay Watershed Restoration
  • Northwest Florida Estuaries Restoration 

Each impacted county will engage directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties.   

A meeting is planned for Monday, January 21, 2015, in Tallahassee, Florida. Location to be announced.  

  

Louisiana:  The State of Louisiana is currently represented by the CPRA (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority) on restoration activities.  

The CPRA is established as the single state entity with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and to focus development and implementation efforts to achieve comprehensive coastal protection for Louisiana through a Master Plan. It is through this Louisiana entity that RESTORE funds and activities will be addressed.  On November 12, CPRA announced the following submissions to the RESTORE Council. You can read more about them on their web site. 

  •   Golden Triangle Marsh Creation
  •   Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp
  •   Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline Project
  •   West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization
  •  Lower Mississippi River Management 
Texas:  The Restore the Texas Coast website is now fully populated and up to date with recent information. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality submitted five projects to the Restore Council. Read the summaries of the following five proposed projects:
  • Matagorda Bay System Landscape Conservation
  • Bahia Grande Coastal Corridor
  • Bayou Greenways 2020:  Clear Creek Riparian Corridor Acquisition
  • Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (BUDM) - Project Design
  • Salt Bayou Siphons:  Feasibility Study, Design, Engineering & Permitting 
     
Centers of Excellence:  The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) was designated as the Florida Gulf Coast entity to receive funds from the RESTORE Act. FIO is seeking public comment on their grant process through December 1, 2014. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

The State of Texas closed applications for Centers of Excellence on November 17, 2014.   

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program:  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released for public comment a draft science plan for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program. The plan establishes ten long-term research priorities to guide how the program will invest its funds. It also explains how prior Gulf of Mexico region needs assessments and earlier stakeholder input were used to determine areas of investment. The plan provides additional information on how the program will be administered and how it will work with partners. The 45 day comment period ends on December 15, 2014. Electronic comments on the draft science plan can be submitted via e-mail (noaarestorescience@noaa.gov). Written comments can be mailed to Dr. Becky Allee; NOAA OCM - Gulf Coast; Bldg. 1100, Rm 232; Stennis Space Center, MS, 39529.    


 

National Academy of Sciences' Gulf Research Program (NAS): 
The National Academy of Sciences recently released their Strategic Vision found here. To follow the NAS Gulf Research Program and register for updates, go to their website. The Gulf Research Program currently has two job opportunities.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA):  The NRDA Trustees have released, "Assess Plan Restore," a guide to projects and planning contained in the Final Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Get a copy of the plan. Learn more about NRDA through NOAA  here or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWF): In addition to the November 17th funded project announcement, NFWF announced a new partnership with the US Department of Agriculture to support Gulf restoration on October 28, 2014. The new partnership will significantly expand conservation efforts with private landowners and operators who might not otherwise be eligible to participate in existing recovery programs. Read the full story on their web site. Read more about NFWF and their Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund here.

 
North American Conservation Wetlands Act (NAWCA) Fund:  

As part of the criminal plea agreement involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this Fund will receive $100,000,000. The purpose is for wetlands restoration and conservation benefiting migratory bird species and other wildlife affected by the oil spill. Click here to learn more. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has a "Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed" and it can be found here.   

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Update
RFP-V is open for individual Investigators and Small Collaboratives. Letters of intent are due December 15, 2015 and Full Proposals are due March 13, 2015.

The 2015 Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is scheduled for February 16-19 in Houston, Texas.  Early registration ends December 5, 2014. Registration and conference information can be found here
 

Gulf of Mexico Alliance | 1151 Robinson Street | Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Contact me: Laura.Bowie@gomxa.org. 

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