Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

February 2016

Tetra Tech Receives Greeley Award
Partnership results in modelling efforts that support nutrient criteria
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, supporting the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Nutrient Team, tasked Tetra Tech, Inc. to design and implement a monitoring and modelling project. Their paper, "Modeling the Factors Controlling Phytoplankton in the St. Louis Bay Estuary, Mississippi and Evaluating Estuarine Responses to Nutrient Load Modifications" recently won the prestigious Greeley Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 
The ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute initiated the Samuel Arnold Greeley Award in 1968. ASCE may give the award annually to the author(s) that make the most valuable contribution to the environmental engineering profession. The winning manuscript was based on the project, "Sources, Fate, Transport, and Effects (SFTE) of Nutrients as a Basis for Protective Criteria in Estuarine and Near-Coastal Waters, Saint Louis Bay, Mississippi Pilot Study."
Tetra Tech coordinated with the USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, to conduct field sampling
and environmental measurements over a 12-month period. The suite of data collected included hydrodynamic, meteorological, field and laboratory water chemistry, tidal features, and freshwater inflows. The team also collected benthic biological characteristics and summarized them with the Nutrient Team's Gulf Benthic Index. 
Tetra Tech used a modelling approach that linked models on watershed loading (LSPC), hydrodynamic (EFDC), and water quality for Saint Louis Bay and its contributing watershed (WASP version 7.41). The work was calibrated with the detailed and comprehensive water quality data.

The team analyzed the data and conducted extensive modelling of the interrelationships among all the factors. The results inform the development of objective, numeric thresholds of nutrient concentrations for the protection of aquatic life. 

The U.S. EPA Gulf of Mexico Program funded the project. Congratulations to all the partners. The paper, published in the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, can be accessed in the ASCE Library. For more information, contact the lead author Rene A. Camacho. To learn more about this effort or get a copy of the final report, contact the Water Resources Team.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance News

The Alliance received a major Coastal Resilience Grant from NOAA this month. Two of the six Alliance teams, Habitat Resources and Coastal Resilience, received one of six grants awarded nationwide. The two team's project will work with local communities to improve coastal risk assessment and communication, promote collaborative resilience planning, and better inform science-based decisions.

The Coastal Resilience Team held its Winter Meeting in Spanish Fort, Alabama. They began to prioritize some of their existing programs. The Team developed an ambitious time table to address specific steps for the new Action Plan III. Some of these will support the new award.

All the Alliance Teams, like Coastal Resilience, are laying the ground work for implementing the new action plan. Each Team is tasked with identifying specific steps to accomplish. The Alliance has set a bold schedule to prepare for the June All Hands Meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

To be involved, contact our Team Coordinators.
New Sea Grant Deepwater Horizon Publications
Oil spill publications are designed to share research science

The Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Program is funded through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The purpose is to share oil spill science with people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico.
The program's oil spill science specialists work together on many oil spill related research topics. In the past two months they've released several new publications. They address questions posed by audiences outside the research community who want to know more about the results of the science. The specialists work with researchers to produce the condensed materials. 

Newly released titles include:
  • Chemical Dispersants and Their Role in Oil Spill Response
  • Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Navigating Shifting Sands: Oil on our Beaches
To download PDF copies of these and other informative pieces, visit the regional Sea Grant webpage.
EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Has New Office
Staff are now located in Gulfport, Mississippi
The EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) has moved to a new location. Formerly at Stennis, the new office address is:

The EPA GMP has been an integral Gulf of Mexico Alliance partner since its inception. The GMP offers requests for proposals on relevant regional topics. Every two years they highlight leading programs through their Gulf Guardian Awards. An updated web presence with a map showcasing funded programs is also now available.

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

Webinar: Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan, Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 10am CST. 
Register here

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources Full Team Call, Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, 1:30 CST.
Contact the Team Coordinator for more information. To stay up to date with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Priority Issue Teams, join a Team.
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 will hold the 2016 annual meeting on April 19-21, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Go here for more information. 

Gulf of Mexico Alliance
2016 All Hands Meeting
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
June 14 - 17, 2016

RestorationUpdatesRestoration Updates

RESTORE Council        
The RESTORE Council approved a 2015 Annual Report to Congress on December 29th, 2015. The Report summarizes the Council's continued work addressing the restoration and protection of the gulf Coast region. This report, funded projects, and Council activity is on their website

Alabama The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) has extended the deadline to enter project suggestions for potential Phase IV funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to March 8, 2016. Information and updates can be accessed here.
Mississippi The MS Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a webinar March 1st on the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan. they are seeking proposals for a Marsh Habitat Monitoring project. For information on these and other activities, 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. Two application workshops are scheduled for March 3rd, 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Complete information on the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) are available on RESTORE The Texas Coast
Centers of Excellence
The five Gulf States Centers of Excellence:  
Alabama     Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Florida        Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLoRACEP)  
Louisiana    The Water Institute 
                  See their publication, Volume
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. Download their funding opportunities calendar. A 2016 funding competition is anticipated between mid-April and mid-May.
National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Gulf Research Program
The NAS Gulf Research Program Synthesis Grants opportunity is expected to open March 1st. Capacity Building Grants are expected to open May 11th. To read more, go to the NAS Gulf Research Program website.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) 
The NRDA Trustees recently released a final version of the Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico. They are now in a 30-day waiting period that ends March 21, 2016. Trustees will not make a final decision to adopt the plan until this period is complete. The final plan and comprehensive NRDA information can found here.  
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Last fall, NFWF announced new projects funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. An Alabama NFWF opportunity closes March 8th. 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 held its fourth Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science (GoMOSES) Conference February 1-4, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. Over 1000 scientists participated. Plenary presentations focused on the continued need and use of environmental data. 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: 

Alabama NFWF Phase IV Funding Cycle -- The State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has extended the deadline to enter project suggestions for potential Phase IV funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to March 8, 2016. If you have already entered your project suggestion into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal, it is not necessary to re-submit it. Go to to enter a new project suggestion or to review project suggestions currently in the portal.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Request for Proposals for Marsh Habitat Monitoring - MDEQ is soliciting from consulting firms, non-governmental organizations, and public institutions to aid MDEQ with marsh habitat monitoring services for the Utilization of Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi project. The deadline is March 9, 2016.

NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Competition  - This opportunity supports the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes aquaculture. Preproposals are due March 10, 2016 and full proposals are due May 12, 2016.

Florida Humanities Council 2016 Project Grants - Florida nonprofit organizations may submit applications related to the planning and implementation of public humanities projects related to Florida or of interest to Floridians. The Council is interested in projects that relate to the campaign, "Think Florida, Think Water" among others. The recent deadline was January 15, 2016. The next deadline is April 1, 2016 and then June 1, 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

Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program - The primary goal of the NCWCG Program is the long-term conservation of coastal wetland ecosystems. Projects can include acquisition of real property; restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal ecosystems; or, a combination of acquisition, restoration, and management. Search for F16AS00089. The deadline is June 29, 2016.

Future Opportunities

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Calendar
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
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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