E-Newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
February 28, 2015
In This Issue

Check it out!  GOMA's website 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.   

 GOMA All Hands Meeting
June 16-18
Biloxi, MS
Registration Now Open!

Thank you to our current sponsors!

Statoil * GCOOS * HRI * EPA GMP * Allen Engineering * Eastern Research Group * Freese & Nichols * GoMURC * NWF * Sea Bird-Coastal/OTT/HydroLab

Coastal Training Workshops

Planning & Facilitating Collaborative Meetings - March 18-19, 2015

For more information go to http://www.gulfalliancetraining.org/
Quick Links
Come See Us!
We love visitors! With our new
sign out front, you can't miss us. Stop by 1151 Robinson Street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and we'll show you around.
Have trouble with a link? Please let us know!
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Action Plan III Planning Begins

In December, we introduced the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's reorganization. Last month, we announced the release of our Regional Collaborative Blueprint, which  establishes high level goals for the Alliance and identifies the new teams. It is now available online through the Resources area of our website. February has flown by and planning for Action Plan III has begun, just like we promised.    


The Resilience Team  held its winter meeting in Baton Rouge, LA. This was the team's first strategic session following reorganization. The team began drafting long term goals and preparations for Action Plan III. 


The  Education and Engagement Team held a team call in early February. A planning group has been established to begin developing goals and objectives for Action Plan III.  


The Habitat Team will hold its inaugural Habitat Restoration Practitioners Forum entitled "Dredging Technology: Advancement and Techniques for Using Sediments for Coastal Restoration" March 10 - 11. The team envisions a series of interactive workshops to focus on specific area of practice; giving practitioners a hands-on opportunity to share techniques and lessons learned. Two webinars presenting the findings will follow the forum. For more information contact Mike Smith. 



The much anticipated Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker has been beta tested. Thank you to those of you that tried it out and provided feedback. We are looking forward to the April release.  


March 18:  A "Get to Know GOMA" webinar is being planned for anyone new (or old) that would like to know more about how the Alliance operates. Register now; spaces are filling fast.

June 16-18: The annual 2015 All Hands Meeting will devote a large portion of the agenda to the development of Action Plan III.

There will many other opportunities to participate. To stay up to date, join the new and reassembled teams by contacting us
Open Comment Periods
NOAA Seeks Comments on a Proposed Rule to Establish Two Recreational Sub-Quotas for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper - The comment period ends March 9, 2015.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is seeking  public comments on the FY2016 Draft Annual Plan by March 18, 2015.

MS Dept. of Environmental Quality seeks public review and comment on the Draft RFP to competitively select a consortium to establish and manage Mississippi's Center of Excellence. Comments are due March 23, 2015.  
NOAA Seeks Input on Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Boundaries - Comments are due April 6, 2015.  


FEMA comments solicited on An Introduction to the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard - Comments are due April 6, 2015.  


EPA Seeks Comments on Amendments to the National Contingency Plan - The deadline is April 22, 2015.
Funding Opportunities
Gulf Restoration Updates
Restore Council: See the Council's website for more information.  

  To ensure a project suggestion is received in time for review by the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources for potential Phase III funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF), project suggestion(s) should be entered into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal by March 9, 2015.  It is not necessary to re-submit.  Go to www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org to enter a new project suggestion or to review current suggestions. For additional information on the NFWF GEBF, go to www.nfwf.org
Mississippi: In late February, the Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality hosted Resource Summits in the coastal counties.  During roundtable discussions, valuable information was shared and the Mississippi Comprehensive Ecosystem Restoration Tool (MCERT) was explained.  Also, as noted above, the MS Dept. of Environmental Quality seeks public review and comment on the Draft RFP to competitively select a consortium to establish and manage Mississippi's Center of Excellence. For information on restoration activities in Mississippi to to Making Mississippi Whole.  


Florida: Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a website complete with resources, links, and newsletters, including an overview of Florida's response to the oil spill. Each impacted county will engage directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties. A meeting will be held Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. For all meeting information see the website.  

Louisiana: The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. Public comments are due on the FY2016 Draft Annual Plan by March 18, 2015. CPRA public meeting are being held on March 3-5 - for these and other meetings planned through the year see the  CPRA calendar.
Texas: RESTORE the Texas Coast is the official web location for oil spill related restoration in Texas. Two consortia were selected on January 16, 2015 as Centers of Excellence.
Centers of Excellence:
The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) is responsible for Florida's Center of Excellence. FIO currently has a research opportunity open - read above for more information.

The MS Dept. of Environmental Quality currently has a public comment period open to review the draft RFP that will involve selection of the state's future CoE.

Texas announced two consortia will be Centers of Excellence:  one consortia will be led by the University of Houston and one will be led by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  See all partners and get the full details in the TCEQ announcement.   

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program:  A funding opportunity is currently open and described above. Read above for more information. 

National Academy of Sciences' Gulf Research Program (NAS): 
NAS opened Exploratory Grants noted above. To follow the NAS Gulf Research Program, get the FFO, and register for updates, go to their website.

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 (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund: NFWF's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund recently announced its 2014 list of restoration projects worth nearly $390 million across the Gulf. Read more about these projects in this comprehensive list.  

North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA):  

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.   


NAWCA Canadian and Mexican Standard Grants are open. A U.S. Small Grants program is also open. Read more about how to apply

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Update