Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

April 2016

New Sessions at the 2016 All Hands Meeting 
Annual meeting includes new sessions as well as a Tools Cafe
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2016 All Hands Meeting will be here before you know it, so  register now while there is still space.  The daily activities are posted on our website. In addition to our normal line-up of plenary and Priority Issue Team meetings, we will feature several special sessions on Tuesday before the other activities commence:

               Joint Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks and Gulf Coast Prairie LCC Meeting
               Coastal Impact and Assistance Program Workshop
               Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Oil Spill Science Outreach Workshop 

We will also host a Tools Café following the opening Priority Issue Team meetings on Wednesday afternoon.  Be sure to attend the Tools Café to get your free drink ticket for the evening reception.

The room block deadline is May 20, 2016 and it's filling up fast, so don't get caught without a reservation.  Hotel accommodations are provided by the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center:
                 Group reservations 
                 Group code (non-government rate):  GMA2
                 Group code (government rate):  GMA
Thank you to our growing list of sponsors!
NOAA, Gulf Sea Grant Programs, EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, OTT Hydromet, the Ocean Conservancy, HARC, TNC, EFD, Mote Marine, and Chevron!

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Participates in Joint Session in Mexico 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance and Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GoMURC) recently participated in the 11th annual meeting of the Consortium of Marine Research Institutes for the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean (Cii-Mar GOMC).  The joint session in Tabasco, Mexico, focused on coastal resilience and environmental education.  The group of nearly 70 researchers and state agency personnel from the U.S. and Mexico presented how they are improving coastal resilience or studying adaptation measures for climate change.  Several unique environmental education approaches provided an emphasis on integrating social science with environmental science as well. 

The meeting provided input for the foundation of a report card for the southern Gulf of Mexico that Cii-Mar GOMC hopes to pursue with the University of Maryland.  As a result of the successful meeting, a community resilience category may be added and graded as part of the proposed Southern Gulf of Mexico Report Card.

A big THANK YOU to Cii-MAR and their director, Porfirio Alvarez, who graciously hosted GOMA, GoMURC, and other U.S. participants throughout the meeting.  

Tulane University Nitrogen Reduction Challenge
Re-launch expands scope of the $1 million dollar competition 

The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge has re-launched with an expanded scope. The first step is a multi-phased effort by Tulane University to seek innovative solutions to reducing hypoxia, not only in the Gulf of Mexico but globally. Addressing hypoxia is a grand challenge because solutions must meet a suite of simultaneous and sometimes conflicting needs - from protecting water resources and near-shore ecosystems to ensuring the capacity and vitality of agricultural productivity.
Tulane University continues to tap into the genius of worldwide entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors by offering a new and expanded $1 million Grand Challenge. The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge is seeking innovative in-field solutions that will reduce crop fertilizers and runoff, with the goal of combating hypoxia and global "Dead Zones" in the world's lakes and oceans. Please visit the website to learn more and how you can compete for the $1 million prize.

Nicholls State University Blue Crab Research
Adult female blue crabs being tagged in all five Gulf Coast states
Nicholls State University Assistant Professor Zack Darnell is studying the blue crab (Calinectes sapidus) in the Gulf of Mexico. He and his team want to better understand their movements, connectivity, and mortality. They are tagging adult female blue crabs in all five Gulf Coast states, both within estuaries and offshore.   
If you catch a tagged blue crab, Dr. Darnell wants some basic information. Record the tag number, the date you caught it, and the location where it was caught. They also want to know whether or not the crab was carrying eggs and if so, to note what color the eggs are (orange, brown, or black). 

Participating in the project may also earn you a little extra cash. Each tagged blue crab is worth between $5 and $50 dollars. Learn more about this research and how to report a tagged crab on the Nicholls State University website.  

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

May 10th:   An Interactive Sea Level Rise Webinar, 10:00 - 11:30AM CDT, register with the Alabama Coastal Foundation. 

May 10th - 11th:   2016 Mississippi State of Our Coast Conference, register here

June 1st - 3rd:   Louisiana State of the Coast, find more information here

June 7th - 9th:   Capitol Hill Oceans Week, learn more

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training program has several workshops scheduled through the fall. These include Blue Carbon, Use of Native Grasses, and Invasive Species. See what they have scheduled here

Looking Ahead

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is pleased to sponsor Restore America's Estuaries 8th Annual Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana, December 10-15, 2016. Proposal admission ends May 2, 2016. 

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

RestorationUpdatesRestoration Updates

RESTORE Council        
The RESTORE Council completed a series of public webinars this month. The purpose was to review the process used with the first Funded Priority List. The Council hopes to identify lessons learned to enhance future project selection. This information and all other Council activity is on their website

Alabama Follow other restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) here.
Mississippi The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is seeking sealed bids for Multi-Partner Water Quality Instruments. The deadline is May 3, 2016. For information on this project 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 On April 20, 2016, Governor Edwards released a statement on the 6th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. CPRA is planning Board Meeting for May 18th. View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website
Texas Oil spill restoration information in Texas and related items can be found on the website
Centers of Excellence
The five Gulf States Centers of Excellence:
Alabama     Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Florida        Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP
                  RFP II proposals are due June 3, 2016.  
Louisiana    The Water Institute 
                  Data Flow Conference May 9-10, 2016
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-May. It will address living coastal and marine resources and their habitats. 
National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Gulf Research Program
The NAS Gulf Research Program Synthesis Grants full proposals are due June 22, 2016. 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) 
This month NRDA Trustees announced they settled with BP for natural resource injuries stemming from the 2010 spill. The Trustees will now begin implementation of the comprehensive restoration plan. The final plan and comprehensive NRDA information can found here.  
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
NFWF has supported 75 programs worth nearly $500 million. 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) 
On April 20th, Secretary Jewell announced $48.8 million in grants nationwide to purchase, lease, or otherwise conserve bird habitat. Projects highlighted include acreage in the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. 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) 
The GoMRI final RFP VI is in development. It is anticipated for release October 2016. 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: 

FWS Multistate Conservation Grant Program - The primary goal of the program is to provide grant funds to address priority needs (national conservation needs) of the state wildlife agencies that are beyond the scope and capabilities of a single state. Search for F16AS00160. Letters of intent are due May 6, 2016. Full proposals, if invited, are due August 5, 2016

USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program - This program helps increase restoration through the installation and maintenance of conservation activities. Three critical areas are targeted for funding: critical conservation areas, national, and state. Pre-proposals are due May 10, 2016

EPA FY 2016 and FY 2017 Pollution Prevention Information Network (PPIN) Grants Program - The grants will support the development and delivery of pollution prevention (P2) information resources, tools, training, and related services to meet the needs of businesses and technical assistance providers. The deadline is May 17, 2016.

NPS Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program - Proposals are for matching grants to support projects that would acquire or develop public land for outdoor recreation purposes located within or serving Census-delineated "urbanized areas": places with a population of 50,000 or more people that are densely settled. Search for P16AS00065. The deadline is May 20, 2016.

FWS 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 Capacity Building Grants - opening May 11th 

Help us build the Gulf Star Partnership 

CommentPeriodsOpen Comment Periods
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has a draft Programmatic EIS for the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program available. Public comment closes on May 2, 2016. 
NOAA Fisheries is accepting public comment on the Draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy. The comment period closes June 3, 2016. 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has several regulation items open for comment. These include regulations addressing Red Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, Red Snapper, Shrimp, 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
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Gulf of Mexico Alliance | 1151 Robinson Street | Ocean Springs | MS | 39564