Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

June 2015

All Hands Highlights
Another successful Gulf of Mexico Alliance meeting in the books
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance completed its 11th annual meeting in  Biloxi, Mississippi, the week of June 15th. A highlight of Tuesday's plenary session was the announcement of the new Gulf Star partnership. The Alliance aims to raise $5 million over five years to support programming in the organization's six priority issue areas. Shell, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and The Nature Conservancy are the founding contributors to the program. 

The Alliance was also pleased to participate in Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) release of their new report on living shorelines. RAE unveiled "Living Shorelines: From Barriers to Opportunities," and teams were some of the first to view the new report.
Alliance partners hope to use this information to inform future projects in the region.

Moving forward past the June break out sessions, the Alliance is working on an ambitious timeline to complete the Governors' Action Plan III by the end of this year. The Coordinators and team leads are already planning to cross-walk language developed during the meeting. Stay in touch with your team for refinement of the materials that have been drafted. Notes, presentations, and other materials from the meeting will be posted to the Alliance website when they are ready.

We'd like to give one last "shout out" to this year's sponsors. Without them, we could not afford the extra amenities offered during the meeting.

Statoil * ADCNR 
GCOOS * HRI * EPA GMP * Sea Grant * NOAA * TNC * The Water Campus 
NWF * Seabird Coastal/Ott Hydromet * Allen Engineering & Science * Freese & Nichols 
ERG * GOMURC * DISL * CGI * Reefball Foundation * Mote Marine Lab

Harte Research Institute Releases GecoView
New story map showcases value of Gulf coastal habitats

The Harte Research Institute (HRI) has been a long supporter and partner of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. In 2012, HRI launched to distribute and share information on ecosystem services. At the 2015 All Hands meeting, HRI released and demonstrated their new companion site is based on an ESRI platform using a new and popular technique, a story map. Story maps use graphics to help organize and better present information. GecoView is meant to be intuitive, allowing users to interact with the site to understand the critical benefits of coastal habitats. Coastal communities benefit from the variety of products and services provided by the environment. GecoView helps the user better understand these ecosystem services and thus, make better planning decisions.

Land Trust Alliance Announces Independent Gulf Partnership
$100,000 USFS grant helps establish Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Biloxi All Hands meeting was full of exciting announcements. Concluding the week, the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) announced a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to help establish an independent Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation (Gulf Partnership). 

LTA has been the umbrella organization for the Gulf Partnership for the past five years. During this time, they developed their landmark report, "A Land Conversation Vision for the Gulf of Mexico Region: An Overview." The Gulf Partnership is a member of the broader Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) network. The LTA remains committed to supporting the work of the LCCs. The Alliance will be looking to the Gulf Partnership to help spread conservation efforts up the watershed.

Check out July events on our website. Regional coastal training program workshops can be found on their website. Send in your workshops, trainings, meetings, conferences, and other notable activities for inclusion on our events page.

RestorationUpdatesRestoration Updates


RESTORE Council        

The RESTORE Council is currently evaluating submissions for potential funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component. When the Draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) is available, public comment will be solicited.

The Council Member Summary Notice of Application Process for Council-Selected Restoration Component Projects and Programs has been published in the Federal Register in June. It can be viewed in the federal register. See the Council's website for more information.  


Alabama The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council information and updates can be accessed here.   


Mississippi For information on restoration activities in Mississippi go 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. A new infographic is available that displays statistics for Florida. Each impacted county will engage directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties. The Consortium has meetings planned for August 26 and November 18; see their website for more information. 


Louisiana The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. Recently, CPRA launched a new "Flood Risk and Resilience Viewer."   



Texas RESTORE The Texas Coast is the official web location for oil spill related restoration in Texas. 


Centers of Excellence

The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) is responsible for Florida's Center of Excellence. FIO intends to announce Florida Center of Excellence Research Grant Program awards July 1, 2015. Information on the Texas One Gulf Center of Excellence is online

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

Information related to the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program can be found here. The Science Plan Final Version is available. They are currently reviewing proposals submitted under their recent proposal solicitation. 


National Academy of Sciences' Gulf Research Program (NAS)

The NAS Gulf Research Program announced the recipients of their 2015 Early-Career Research Fellowships and Science Policy Fellowships. To follow the NAS Gulf Research Program and register for updates, go to their website.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)

NRDA Trustees have extended the public comment period for the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments (Draft).
The new comment deadline is July 6, 2015. More information about NRDA can be found      


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

NFWF maintains a website for its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.   


North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA) 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a website for NAWCA programs. Standard grants programs are currently open for the US, closing July 7 and Canada, closing August 7. The U.S. Small Grants program is also open and closes November 5, 2015.


Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) 

The GoMRI announced the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference will be February 1-4, 2016 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside, Tampa, Florida. Registration will open August 3, 2015. Learn more about GoMRI and their research.  


FundingOpportunitiesFunding Opportunities

NOAA Fisheries Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants are to fund programs that develop healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration and conservation. The deadline is July 2, 2015


USDA Partner Proposals for Wetlands Projects in Louisiana - financial and technical assistance is available eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands. The deadline is July 15, 2015.

USDA Help Socially-Disadvantaged Producers Grant - Successful applicants will provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The deadline is July 20, 2015.

NOAA 2015 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant Program will support regional approaches to undertake activities that build resilience of coastal regions, communities, and economic sectors to the negative impacts from extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions. The deadline is July 24, 2015

Border 2020 Program Region 6 RFP SOLTA15-010 to "protect the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region, consistent with the principles of sustainable development." The deadline is August 3, 2015.

National Endowment for the Arts Our Town 2016 Grants, "placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies." The deadline is September 21, 2015.

Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants Program - Funding priorities include increasing opportunities for outdoor activity, reducing environmental health hazards, and building stronger communities. Small Grants are due August 15 and November 1, 2015

NAWCA Grants Program - Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved funding.
Mexican Standard Grants deadline is June 1, 2015. US Small Grants deadline is November 5, 2015.  

CommentPeriodsOpen Comment Periods

Proposed rule: Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States; NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. For more information go here. The deadline to comment is July 6, 2015.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to remove the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) due to recovery. For more information go here. The deadline to comment is July 20, 2015.  

The EPA proposes to modify the use restrictions at several locations in Texas. The sites are EPA designated ocean dumping sites for the disposal of suitable dredge. For more information go here. The deadline to comment is August 3, 2015.

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