Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

January 2016

SAVE THE DATE:  June 14-17
2016 Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting moves to Louisiana

The 2016 GOMA All Hands Meeting will be held June 14 - 17 at the Hilton Capitol Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Registration is only $100 for four days.  Click here to register and let us know you are coming! 

General programming:
       Tuesday -       Plenary Session
                            Tools Café
       Wednesday -  Team Meetings
                             Cross-Team Initiatives
       Thursday -      Team Meetings
                             Cross-Team Initiatives
        Friday -         Team Meetings
                             Landscape Conservation Cooperative Meeting
                             Business Advisory Council Meeting (TBD)
We look forward to discussing the finalized Action Plan III and Gulf Star Program. Get engaged with a Priority Issue Team now. Specific team agendas will be posted as soon as possible - check back often!   
Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative Webinars
Standardizing Sea Level Rise Scenarios for Gulf of Mexico Projects
The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative is happy to announce the first webinar in their series "Standardizing Sea-Level Scenarios for Gulf of Mexico Projects." The process to determine which sea level rise (SLR) scenario works best for a given project can take a great deal of time. Different methods may be used making it difficult to compare results between projects. The Cooperative partners are addressing this issue as a priority goal for their 2015-2016 work plan.

The Cooperative would like to invite those who work in the field of SLR in the Gulf of Mexico to join them and identify a suite of recommended scenarios. A brief user guide will also be developed and encouraged for use on the Gulf Coast.

This process will take time and a series of webinars and workshops will be employed to develop the recommendations. The first webinar will be February 11, 2016, at 10:00 am CST. The agenda involves background information addressing the series goals and outlining national, regional, and local SLR scenarios. For more information about this and future webinars go here.
Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC Conservation Blueprint
Development of a Conservation Blueprint is underway 

The mission of the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks (GCPO) Landscape Conservation Cooperative
(LCC) is to define, design & deliver landscapes capable of sustaining natural and cultural resources for future generations. The GCPO is developing a Conservation Blueprint to provide a flexible framework for designing sustainable landscapes.  The Blueprint will offer spatial depictions of relative habitat condition and identify actions needed for ecological improvement. 

To develop the Blueprint, GCPO is reaching out to their partners for input through a series of 1-day workshops. These will begin February 3rd and conclude March 24th. Seven workshops will be held across the LCC area. Resulting maps will be available in their new GCPO LCC Blueprint 1.0 GalleryTo learn more and get involved, read their blog post

Scroll through our February 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.

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. Contact the Team Coordinators for last minute information.   

Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium will be February 19-20, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Get more information from the symposium webpage.

The Environmental Education Association of Alabama is having their annual conference February 25-27, 2016 at Camp McDonwell in Nauvoo, Alabama. Learn more here

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Spring Meeting will be March 15-17, 2016 in Gulfport, Mississippi. 

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

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. 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. Notes from the meeting, funded projects, and Council activity is on their website

Alabama The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) information and updates can be accessed here.
Mississippi The Mississippi Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP) is available for review and public comment was extended to February 5th. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) also released the Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan. MDEQ is taking public comment on the plan. A support tool, the Mississippi Comprehensive Ecosystem Restoration Tool (MCERT) and the Decision Support System (DSS) were developed to support science-based decision making for restoration. These can also be viewed for public comment. 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 Applications for Texas projects for grant funding under the Direct Component (Bucket 1) of the federal RESTORE Act are being accepted through April 15th. Complete information on the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) are available on RESTORE The Texas Coast
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. A second funding competition is anticipated between mid-April and mid-May of 2016. Read about the first awards to seven research teams.  
National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Gulf Research Program
The NAS Gulf Research Program is currently accepting letters of intent to their 2016 Exploratory Grants program closing February 17th. An Early-Career Research Followship and Science Policy Fellowship are also available for application until February 17th. Synthesis Grants and Capacity Building Grants are expected to open this spring. To read more, go to the NAS Gulf Research Program website.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) 
In September 2015, 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 that involved four projects in Florida. Comprehensive NRDA information can found here.  
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund NFWF announced last fall, new projects funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. The NFWF website has information on all funded projects. NFWF has a map page that displays all of their programs worldwide. 
North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA) 
The US Fish and
Wildlife Service maintains a website for NAWCA programs. Their 2016 grant cycle deadlines are now available. 
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) 
GoMRI is making final preparations for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science (GoMOSES) Conference in February 1-4, 2016 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside, Tampa, Florida. Follow conference participants on Twitter using #GulfScienceConference. Learn more about GoMRI and their research. 

Track funded projects with the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker

FundingOpportunitiesFunding Opportunities

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

NFWF Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program - projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable streambanks, pollution from stormwater runoff, and degraded shorelines caused by development. The deadline is February 3, 2016.     
NOAA Office of Education FY16 Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG) Funding Opportunity - For education projects designed to strengthen the public's and/or K-12 students' environmental literacy to enable informed decision-making necessary for community resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards. The deadline is February 8, 2016.

RBC Blue Water Project Grants - These are awarded to local or community-based organizations. The project focuses on supporting initiatives that help protect and preserve water in towns, cities and urbanized areas with populations of more than 10,000 people. Applications for the community action grant are due February 18, 2016.

Fish and Wildlife Service North American Wetlands Conservation Act NAWCA Grants - U.S. Standard Grants - The NAWCA program provides matching grants to wetlands conservation projects. The U.S. Standard Grants Cycle 1 deadline is February 26, 2016.

RESTORE The Texas Coast RESTORE Grant Applications - Proposals for Texas projects under the Direct Component (Bucket 1) of the federal RESTORE Act are now being accepted. An application instruction video is available on the RESTORE The Texas Coast website.  The deadline is April 15, 2016.

Future Opportunities

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program - due out mid-April
NAS Gulf Research Program Synthesis Grants - opening March 1st
NAS Gulf Research Program Capacity Building Grants - opening May 11th 

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 and has been extended until February 5, 2016. Complete information may be found on Making Mississippi Whole
NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on a proposed rule to reallocate Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. The comment period ends March 10, 2016.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on a Disaster Deductible Concept. This new concept would involve asking states to meet a predetermined level of state disaster funding or investment in resilience prior to initiating additional federal assistance through the Public Assistance program following a disaster declaration.The deadline to comment is March 21, 2016. 
The Fish and Wildlife Service has a proposed rule open for comment, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 12-Month Finding on a Petition to Downlist the West Indian Manatee, and Proposed Rule to Reclassify the West Indian Manatee as Threatened." Comments are due April 7, 2016. 

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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