Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

October 2015

GCOOS GOMA Partnership Creates New Portal
Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal for the Gulf of Mexico is now available

The Gulf Coast Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) is all about #bigdata. In partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, GCOOS has nearly completed a project that incorporates nutrient and hypoxia datasets into their robust Data Portal. The Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal is now available
The goal of this partnership was to develop easy access to nutrient and hypoxia-related data for diverse stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico. The new portal aggregates information from multiple sources to support informed strategies that will reduce nutrient inputs and hypoxia impacts to Gulf coastal ecosystems.
Parameters for the portal include current and historical datasets related to dissolved oxygen, dissolved nitrogen, phosphate compounds and many others. The project extends from the inshore waters of estuaries to the continental shelf break of the five U.S. Gulf states. A Hypoxia Decision Support Tool allows users to inspect base maps of observation locations down to the station level.
The Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal is the first of its kind in the region. GCOOS is committed to maintaining the resource. The project is the result of a Gulf of Mexico Alliance supplemental grant program initiated in 2013. The Data and Monitoring and Water Resources Teams are partners in this project. 
New NOAA Living Shorelines Document
Guidance clarifies NOAA's role and provides guiding principles
On October 28th, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management released Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines. In an agency-wide effort, NOAA developed the guidelines to clarify and encourage the use of living shorelines as a shoreline stabilization technique along sheltered coasts. Living shorelines can preserve and improve habitats and their ecosystem services at the land-water interface. Although erosion is a natural coastal process, coastal communities face constant challenges from shoreline erosion that threaten valuable resources. Living shorelines are gaining attention as an alternative to traditional shoreline stabilization techniques like seawalls and bulkheads.

In the Guidance, readers will learn about:
  • NOAA's living shorelines guiding principles;
  • NOAA's role in providing science, tools, and training to help select appropriate techniques;
  • How to navigate NOAA's potential regulatory and programmatic roles in living shorelines project planning; and
  • Questions to consider when planning a shoreline stabilization effort.

Get your copy of the Living Shorelines Guidance. 


Scroll through our November events calendar for these and other activities. Send in your workshops, trainings, meetings, conferences, and other notables for inclusion on our website events page.

Blue Carbon Workshops
The last Blue Carbon workshop will be in Texas on November 5th. This series has been coordinated by the Regional Coastal Training Program and information can be found on its website.     
BP Proposed Consent Decree: Details of the Deal and Gulf Restoration Planning, 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Hosted by Environmental Law Institute, Ocean Conservancy, and Gulf Restoration Network.

NOAA Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Funding Opportunity, 4:00 - 5:00 PM CT, Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

Restore Americas' Estuaries is hosting the 1st National Technology Transfer Meeting and Regional Workshops on Living Shorelines December 1-2, 2015. Registration is now open.

RestorationUpdatesRestoration Updates

On July 2, 2015, BP Plc announced an agreement in principle to settle the  2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. On October 5, 2015, the Department of Justice released a proposed Consent Decree and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees released the companion Comprehensive Restoration Plan also known as the PDARP/PEIS. Public comments on both these items are due December 4, 2015.   
Get a breakdown of the proposed Consent Decree by the Environmental Law Institute.
RESTORE Council        
The RESTORE Council released the Draft Funded Priorities List (FPL). Public comment was solicited through September 28, 2015. Draft priorities were selected from the Council-Selected Restoration Component. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council posted a proposed regulation to implement the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act. The public comment period on the proposed regulation closed October 28, 2015.  To view these and other materials, visit the Council's website:

Alabama The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) information and updates can be accessed here.
Mississippi For information on restoration activities in Mississippi go to Making Mississippi Whole.
Florida The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a website complete with latest updates, resources, links, and newsletters, including an overview of Florida's response to the oil spill. Each impacted county engages directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties. The Consortium has a meeting planned for November 18; see their website for more information.  Many Florida counties have their own web pages or sites.
Louisiana The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website
Texas Go to RESTORE The Texas Coast for official web related oil spill restoration in Texas. 
Centers of Excellence
Mississippi: The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) as the state's Center of Excellence on October 15. MBRACE comprises the state's four major research institutions: the University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. 
Texas: The two Centers of Excellence are Texas OneGulf led by Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the Subsea Systems Institute at the University of Houston.

: The Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program announced the first awards for Gulf research on August 21, 2015. The next RFP is anticipate for winter 2016. The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) is responsible for Florida's Center of Excellence.     

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program
Information related to the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program can be found here including the Science Plan Final version. In September, the first awards to seven research teams were announced.  
National Academy of Sciences' Gulf Research Program (NAS)
To follow the NAS Gulf Research Program and register for updates, go to their website.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)
The Trustees released the Proposed Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico and concluded public meetings on October 29, 2015. Comments may still be submitted through December 4, 2015. 
The Trustees approved eleven Phase IV early restoration projects valued at an estimated $134 million. These are detailed in the Final Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments released September 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. In its third year, nearly $395 million has been awarded through 51 projects.  
North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA) The US Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a website for NAWCA programs. 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 is open. Learn more about GoMRI and their research.  

Track many of the funded projects with the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker 

FundingOpportunitiesFunding Opportunities

For a complete list of funding opportunities see our webpage. Selected opportunities: 

NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) - This program promotes PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. The deadline is November 13, 2015. 
EPA Urban Waters Small Grants - Proposals will advance EPA's water quality and environmental justice goals. Proposed projects will address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with emphasis on underserved communities. The deadline is November 20, 2015. 
NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) - Seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by PreK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of STEM education innovations and approaches. The deadline is December 7, 2015. 
NOAA Gulf of Mexico Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program - Is an environmental education, grants program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Go to and search NOAA-NMFS-SE-2016-2004691 for the application information.  The deadline is December 11, 2015. 
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration & Research Ocean Exploration 2016 Funding Opportunity - Soliciting pre-proposals followed by full proposals for innovative, multi-partner, interdisciplinary ocean exploration projects in: 1) physical, chemical and biological characterizations of unknown or poorly known regions of the deep ocean, 2) baseline characterization of marine archaeological resources at any depth; and 3) technology that advances ocean exploration and has application to NOAA related missions. The deadline for pre-proposals is January 8, 2016.
NOAA 2016 Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Program - NOAA-NOS-NCCOS-2016-2004616 The purpose is to evaluate and quantify the ability of coastal natural and nature-based features to mitigate the effects of sea level rise and inundation effects on coastal ecosystems and communities through integrated field research and advancement of dynamic modeling tools. The deadline is January 8, 2016.

Help us build the Gulf Star Partnership 

CommentPeriodsOpen Comment Periods

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments to assist in developing a proposed rule for the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program. The proposed rule will use plain language to clarify topics that have led to varying interpretations and will incorporate changes in legislation and technology. Learn more; the deadline to comment is November 13, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce 90-day findings on various petitions to list, reclassify, or delist fish, wildlife, or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). To ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, they are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding listed species. Information is due no later than November 17, 2015

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service is requesting comments on a proposed rule to list gulf grouper as endangered and island grouper as threatened under the Endangered Species. Comment is due November 23, 2015.

US Army Corps of Engineers Seeks comment on proposed Louisiana Wetlands Rapid Assessment Method (LRAM) Wetland Mitigation Method. For more information go here. Comments are due November 26, 2015
NRDA Trustees public comment period for the draft PDARP/PEIA and Treasury Department proposed Consent Decree is open. To comment on the proposed Consent Decree go here. To comment on the draft restoration plan go here. Comments on both are due by December 4, 2015
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service has released the Draft 2015 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports. Public comments on the draft are due December 29, 2015.
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments
Visit the Headquarters office located at 1151 Robinson Street in Ocean Springs, MS and we'll show you around.

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