Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

December 2015


New Projects in Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker
Over 440 projects now being followed

The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker (Tracker) was launched in April 2015 and since then, the Team has worked hard to upgrade the tool's features. They have added not only new projects but programs to the Tracker. New programs include:
  • The RESTORE Act Science Program               7 Projects
  • Gulf Region Health Outreach Program              8 Projects
  • Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence   10 Projects
  • NFWF Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife             48 Projects
The Tracker is unique because it includes several programs that are not being tracked elsewhere, such as the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program.The Tracker Team has also added 11 new projects to the 17 previously compiled from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Once awarded, the Tracker Team will add projects recently approved for funding through the RESTORE Council, NRDA Phase IV, GoMRI RFP V, and the Department of Treasury. The Tracker Team works with many different partners to ensure a comprehensive overview of programs and projects funded as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Learn more about these on the Tracker website
Wetland Migration Corridors Study
USGS, LCCs, and the UWFWS study wetland movement in urban areas
The USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center published a new study on potential wetland migration. The report is titled, "Incorporating Future Change Into Current Conservation Planning: Evaluating Tidal Saline Wetland Migration Along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast Under Alternative Sea-Level Rise and Urbanization Scenarios."
The study quantified the potential for landward migration of tidal saline wetlands along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. The analyses focused exclusively on tidal saline wetlands.The USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center spearheaded a project in combination with the four Gulf Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Follow this link to the report, dataset, and a map of the study area.

Economic Evaluation of Land Loss in Louisiana
CPRA releases new report quantifying impacts of current and future land loss

On December 16th, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released a new report. In it, researchers quantified economic impacts of ongoing and future land loss in Louisiana. They demonstrate a need and justification for Coastal Master Plan project expenditures that can save billions during future storm events that impact the State's infrastructure.

The two-year study was conducted by the LSU Economics and Policy Research Group and the RAND Corporation. Read more about this study and download the report.


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

To stay up to date with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Priority Issue Teams, join a Team.

NOAA, the Grand Bay (MS) and Weeks Bay (AL) National Estuarine Research Reserves and the Disaster Response Center will host "Discovering Steps to Safeguard Our People and the Places They Live: A Climate Adaptation Training for Coastal Communities" on January 26-28, 2016. To learn more about this training go to

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is February 1-4, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. Get the latest conference information

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Resilience Team 2016 Winter Meeting will be February 2-4, 2016 in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Registration opens January 4 on Contact the Team Coordinators for more information.   

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice has scheduled the 2016 annual meeting for April 19-21, 2016. It will be held in Biloxi, Mississippi. Go here for more information. 


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.
Get a breakdown of the proposed Consent Decree by the Environmental Law Institute.
RESTORE Council        
The RESTORE Council met on December 9th, 2015 to approve the first list of funded activities under Bucket 2 of the RESTORE Act, representing a significant investment in restoring key watersheds and estuaries in the Gulf. This first FPL focuses on habitat and water quality projects and includes activities for near-term implementation. Details of the FPL and the Bucket 2 process are found on the Council's website.

The Council also approved the formula for the Spill Impact Component to be used to calculate the funding determination for Bucket 3 of the RESTORE Act. The formula uses a weighted average of the following three criteria: miles of oiled shoreline, an inverse proportion of the average distance from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig at the time, and an average population of the coastal counties within each state. Funds from Bucket 3 can be used by the Gulf States to support overall economic and ecological recovery of the Gulf Coast consistent with the Council's Comprehensive Plan.

Read more about Council activity on their website

Alabama The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) approved the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium (Dauphin Island Sea Lab) as the State's Center of Excellence. More AGCRC information and updates can be accessed here.
Mississippi Governor Bryant recently announced the Mississippi Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP) is available for review and public comment. The proposed projects are found on an interactive MIP Story Map. The MIP is available for public comment.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality also released the Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan. During the planning effort, the Mississippi Comprehensive Ecosystem Restoration Tool (MCERT) and the Decision Support System (DSS) were developed to support science-based decision making for restoration.

For information on these activities and public comment options, go to 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. 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 The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD & TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are beginning the application process for the 2016 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. To be considered for the 2016 funding cycle, new applications must be submitted by January 6, 2016. An additional request for grant applications is anticipated for mid-January. Funding for awarded projects will come from bucket one of RESTORE.

Go to RESTORE The Texas Coast for this pending announcement and other official web related oil spill restoration in Texas. 
Centers of Excellence
All five Gulf states have selected their Centers of Excellence.  
Alabama     Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Florida        Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLoRACEP)  
Louisiana    The Water Institute
Mississippi  Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE)
Texas         Texas OneGulf and Subsea Systems Institute 
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)
The Gulf Research Program recently announced nine data synthesis grants, totaling more than $4.4 million. The two-year awards are designed to support activities that use existing observations or monitoring data. The NAS is currently accepting letters of intent to their 2016 Exploratory Grants program. To read more, go to the NAS Gulf Research Program website.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) 
In September, NRDA Trustees published the Final Phase IV Early Restoration Plan for ten projects estimated at $135 million. A release followed in October of the draft Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico. It coincided with the Department of Justice releasing a proposed Consent Decree to resolve civil claims related to the oil spill. 
On December 1st, NRDA Trustees published the Draft Phase V Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment. It involves four projects in Florida estimated for $34.4 million. A public comment period will be open until December 31st. 

Comprehensive NRDA information can found here.  
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund NFWF recently announced projects funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. The NFWF website has information on these and previously funded projects. 
North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA) 
The US Fish and
Wildlife Service maintains a website for NAWCA programs.
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) 
The GoMRI is making final preparations for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference in February at the Marriott Tampa Waterside, Tampa, Florida. 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: 

Texas Trustee agencies & NFWF 2016 funding cycle Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund - The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD & TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are beginning the application process for the 2016 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. If you have already submitted Texas projects to, your proposal will be considered for the 2016 funding cycle. If there are any significant updates to your proposed project since initially submitted, you will need to re-submit a new project application. To be considered for the 2016 funding cycle, new applications must be submitted by January 6, 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.

V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation Funding Opportunity - The organization funds programs dealing with climate change, unsustainable consumption, and loss of biodiversity. A letter of intent is due
January 12, 2016.

NFWF Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program 2016 Request for Proposals - Proposals will support conservation projects that enhance coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and bolster priority fish and wildlife populations, while strengthening resilience within the coastal region. The application deadline is January 28, 2015.

Help us build the Gulf Star Partnership 

CommentPeriodsOpen Comment Periods
The State of Mississippi is taking public comment on the Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) and Gulf Coast Restoration Plan. The 45-day public comment period that started on December 9, 2015. Complete information may be found on Making Mississippi Whole.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has several regulation amendments open for comment. These include regulations addressing Red Snapper, King Mackerel, and Charter Vessel reporting requirements among others. To view these, their status, and find information to make comments go to the Gulf Council's webpage Scoping through Implementation.  
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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