Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf


September 2016

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Oil Spill Science & the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
A Special Issue of Oceanography 

In the summer of 2010, a group of scientists, lawyers, state agencies, and industry representatives negotiated one of the most impactful research deals in modern history. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was born as a voluntary program funded by BP. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance was selected to administer it as long as it was governed by an independent Research Board, of which ten members were selected by BP and ten selected by the five Gulf States.  The experiment has worked brilliantly.  This month, after six years of world class ground-breaking research, an entire volume of the official magazine of The Oceanography Society, Oceanography, is dedicated to this effort. Read more
Living Shorelines - Adapting to Infrastructure
Ocean Springs, Mississippi puts concept to practice 
If you go to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and visit the Inner Harbor Park, you'll notice some changes taking place. A winding border of rip-rap, sand, and marsh grass are controlling shoreline erosion. Soon, as the plants take over, it will all look as if nature intended it to be that way. It is a new, alternative construction design. It is called a living shoreline. 
Allen Engineering and Science has developed a strong partnership that has taken conceptual designs and put them to work in the real world. Read more.   
Decision Support Tree 
Tool will help decide what tools are best for projects


Climate change planning models and tools are very abundant. Many people are overwhelmed where to start. Supported by a grant from the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, the Climate Change Decision Support Tree will help community stakeholders and natural resource managers choose which tools are right for their projects. 
The Climate Community of Practice (CCoP) just completed a tool and model inventory. Feedback indicated that users don't know which tool or model to choose. The idea for a decision support tree organically grew from there. Read more. 

RestorationUpdatesRestoration Updates

RESTORE Council         
In September, the Council released a Draft Comprehensive Plan Update with accompanying public input sessions. All comments are due by October 7, 2016. Information on Council activity is on their website

Alabama Follow restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) here.
Mississippi The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has an open RFQ for Water Quality Modeling that closes October 14th and, an RFP open for Professional Auditing Services that will close October 12th. For these and other updates 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 Gulf Consortium was awarded $4.6 million in June to develop Florida's State Expenditure Plan. Contacts for each county can be found here 
Louisiana The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. The 2017 Annual Plan is now available for download. View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website
Texas The Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for the RESTORE Direct Component (Bucket 1) grant funds solicited more than 200 project proposals. Evaluations are complete and Commission Baker is now reviewing the completed evaluation. The next step will be to draft a project list for considered for inclusion to the State's Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP). Oil spill restoration information in Texas and related items can be found on

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)    

                  Second Annual All-Hands meeting scheduled October 27-28, 2016.  
Louisiana    The Water Institute

                  RESTORE Act Center of Excellence Louisiana

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
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program
In conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NAS released a new grant opportunity to Build Healthy, Resilient Coastal Communities. Letters of intent are due October 5, 2016. To get more information on these and future opportunities, go to the NAS Gulf Research Program grants webpage. 

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) 
NRDA has established Trustee Implementation Groups (TIGs) in each of the five U.S. Gulf States, Regionwide, and for the Open Ocean. These working groups are described in the comprehensive restoration plan. Their purpose is to develop and propose restoration plans in their locations relative to NRDA.

The DWH Trustee Council recently held their first public meeting since the settlement. It was held September 28th in New Orleans to a standing room only crowd. Each TIG presented an overview of their early, present, and future restoration plans. When on the comprehensive Gulf Spill Restoration website, click on your state's icon to learn more about the TIG.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) 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 U.S. Small Grants are due November 3, 2016.
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) 
The Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference registration is open. Mark your calendars for February 6 - 9, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The GoMRI final RFP-VI is anticipated for release October 2016. Learn more about GoMRI and their research. 

Track funded projects with the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker.

Visit our Story Map.


Scroll through our September events calendar for these and other activities. Send in your workshops, webinars, meetings, conferences, and other notables for inclusion on our website events page. 
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council draft Comprehensive Plan Update public input meetings and webinars began in September and will end in early October.  

Louisiana 2017 Coastal Master Plan Community Conversations are public meetings designed to inform the public on the developing draft and hear valuable input and feedback. Input is sought during six meetings in October.

The National Marine Sanctuaries have a webinar series. The next webinar is October 11th, "Rivers to Reefs: Understanding the Vital Connections Between Rivers and the Ocean."

The GOMA Wildlife and Fisheries Team is holding a conference call and webinar on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm CT. After a Team update, there will be a special guest presentation from the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) on their National Habitat Program. Contact the Team's Coordinator for more information.

The Florida Restore Act Centers of Excellence Program (RLRACEP) second annual All-Hands Meeting will be October 27 - 28, 2016.  

EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Award nominations are due October 31, 2016.

The Louisiana Smart Growth Summit is November 1 - 2, 2016. 
Looking Ahead
November 15th - Mississippi inaugural Restoration Summit

November 30th - December 1st Mississippi-Alabama Bays & Bayous Symposium
December 10th - 15th Restore America's Estuaries 8th Annual Summit

February 6th - 9th, 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference 2017

March 26th - 30th, 2017 Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit 2017 & GOMA All Hands Meeting

FundingOpportunitiesFunding Opportunities

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

NAS Gulf Research Program - Enhancing Resilience and Well-being in Gulf Region Coastal Communities A Grants Program of the Gulf Research Program in Collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - This funding opportunity seeks to enhance the resilience of Gulf region communities to the negative impacts of environmental change in ways that also improve health and well-being, and promote health equity. The Letter of Intent is due October 5, 2016
NOAA Marine Debris Program Community-based Marine Debris Removal FFO - This opportunity provides funding to support locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. The deadline is October 14, 2016

NOAA NMFS Gulf of Mexico Bay-Watershed Education and Training (Gulf B-WET) Program - It is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Funded projects provide meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) for students, related professional development for teachers, and help to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Gulf of Mexico. The deadline is October 28, 2016

Fish and Wildlife Service North American Wetlands Conservation Act NAWCA Grants - U.S. Small Grants - The NAWCA program provides matching grants to wetlands conservation projects. The U.S. Small Grants deadline is November 3, 2016.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Small Grants - Proposals are now being accepted from coastal communities who wish to proactively address their vulnerabilities to coastal hazards identified during a community self-assessment. The deadline is December 9, 2016.

NOAA Marine Debris Program FY2017 Marine Debris Research Federal Funding Opportunity - The MDP offers funding for original, hypothesis-driven research projects focused on the persistence and chemical impacts of marine debris. The deadline is December 19, 2016.

Future Opportunities

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Calendar 

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative RFP- VI - anticipated October 2016

CommentPeriodsOpen Comment Periods
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council proposed update to the 2013  Comprehensive Plan - Draft Comprehensive Plan Update public comments are due October 7, 2016.  

As part of the development of the State of Alabama's Coastal Comprehensive Plan (ACCP), the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) has created a tool to refine input gathered in visioning sessions over the last year.  This input is an important element in the creation of the ACCP. The deadline to submit your input is October 31, 2016. 

Louisiana 2017 Coastal Master Plan Community Conversations are public meetings designed to inform the public on the developing draft and hear valuable input and feedback. Input is sought during six meetings in October. 

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.  
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