Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

Gulf of Mexico Alliance
e-Newsletter November 2016  
Jump to our regular sections on Restoration, Funding, Comment Periods, and Events.

Gulf Star Program Awards 

On November 21st, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance announced its inaugural round of Gulf Star Program recipients. More than $630,000 million will go toward 19 projects across the five Gulf States. The awards support the Governors' Action Plan III in the areas of coastal resilience, water quality, habitat resources, education, data and monitoring, wildlife, and marine debris.  

This month, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU is intended enhance collaboration between the two regional organizations on matters of critical importance to the Gulf of Mexico environment and economy.

 Read more.

The Audubon Nature Institute's G.U.L.F Resource

The landscape of the seafood industry has changed drastically over the last thirty years. Advancements in gear technology allow fishermen to harvest more efficiently. Changes in laws and regulations ensure that fish and shellfish populations can maintain healthy levels. The way companies do business regarding seafood purchasing has shifted focus to sustainability. The Audubon Nature Institute (ANI) helps consumers navigate these changes with a tool called G.U.L.F or Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance recently partnered with ANI to host our Business Advisory Council meeting where we learned about the G.U.L.F. program. We thought you'd find this a valuable resource to share with your stakeholders.

Read more.

On the Water with the Galveston Bay Foundation

Citizen science programs are growing around the country. They are meaningful ways individuals, communities, and organizations can contribute to local scientific research and environmental management. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance reached out to the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) to share their citizen science water quality success story.

For many Texans, Galveston Bay is more than home - it's an integral part of their identities. The second largest bay system in the United States, Galveston Bay provides 618 square miles of vital habitat and wildlife for residents to enjoy. It is also a major source of economic growth and supports fishing, shipping and tourism industries alike. In an ever-developing world, Galveston Bay serves as a constant reminder of our inexorable link to the natural world around us. The Galveston Bay Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to the coastal community and addresses issues concerning the bay.

Read more.
Restore America's Estuaries

Summit #RAETCS16

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is pleased to be a patron sponsor for the upcoming 8th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and the 25th Biennial Meeting of The Coastal Society. Traditionally, the Summit brings together the nation's top scientists, policymakers, and managers to explore innovative solutions in the restoration and management of coastal ecosystems.

Partners are anticipating robust networking throughout the sessions during the week of December 10-15, 2016. More than 1200 conference attendees can confer with 80 exhibitors and hear the latest in coastal restoration practice, policy, and management from hundreds of presentations.

If attending, be sure to stop by the Blue Room. The Blue Room provides a multimedia space for presenters and participants to record video, take photos, and check out what's happening on social media during the Summit. The Blue Room Interview Studio provides multimedia space to share opinions, ideas, opportunities, and meaningful stories of impact during brief interviews. In addition, the Blue Room offers a "Selfie Wall" for all attendees to participate in getting their picture taken with coastal props and memorialize the event.

Get more RAE Summit information.


Activities related to Deepwater Horizon oil spill research and restoration are updated monthly. 

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council - RESTORE Council

On December 16, 2016 the Council will meet to vote on the Comprehensive Plan Update. The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. In October, the Council concluded a public comment period on their Draft Comprehensive Plan Update. Public meeting summaries are now available. Information on this and other Council activity is on their website

In the States

Florida - On November 15, 2016, NFWF approved Phase IV of the Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries program conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This project will continue expansion of data collection on both catch effort and stock assessment of reef fish in the northern Gulf of Mexico to provide a greater understanding the potential long - term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill on fisheries. 
The Florida NRDA Trustee Implementation Group is accepting project ideas until December 5, 2016. 
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a comprehensive website. The Florida Gulf coastal counties Consortium is preparing Florida's State Expenditure Plan for the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act ("Pot 3"). The Consortium voted to allocate the funds evenly for projects in each of the 23 Gulf coastal counties. Each impacted county engages directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties. Their website is being updated; be sure to scroll down on their webpage for complete information.

Alabama - On November 15, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley announced 6 NFWF approved projects for Alabama. These total more than $64 million and address high-priority conservation needs that include acquisition and restoration of coastal habitats and fisheries monitoring. Learn more about these projects in the Governor's announcement. Follow restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) on their website.

Mississippi - On November 15, 2016, Governor Phil Bryant announced 15 restoration projects totaling more than $114 million. Funded through the RESTORE Act, NFWF, and NRDA, these projects focus primarily on water quality, marine resources, and land acquisition for conservation. 

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced the Beach Outfalls Challenge registration opens on January 9, 2017. Funded by NFWF, it is being implemented to address the water quality impact of beach outfalls along the Mississippi Sound by soliciting design ideas and solutions from the public.  Individuals, students, companies, and teams can compete to create innovative solutions for untreated stormwater and improve water quality. 
MDEQ is also seeking public comment on three separate documents. See them listed in the Comment Periods section below. Comments for two of the documents, the Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) and the Mississippi State Expenditure Plan (MSEP), are due January 17, 2017.  

To read more about these activities, provide comments, and learn more about other Mississippi restoration activities visit Making Mississippi Whole.

Louisiana - The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council activities. On November 1, 2016 the RESTORE Council awarded $7.5 million for a restoration project for marsh creation and a living shorelines project. On November 15th, NFWF awarded CPRA more than $245 million for master plan projects. The projects will advance river diversion projects in the Louisiana Comprehensive Masterplan for a Sustainable Coast. View information on this project and more on the CPRA website.

Texas - The state was approved for nearly $12 million for seven NFWF projects on November 15th. This makes a total of 29 NFWF funded conservation programs. The 2017 NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund project solicitation is open until January 3, 2017. The Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for the RESTORE Direct Component (Bucket 1) grant funds are still being reviewed. Check regularly for the anticipated release of selected projects.

Centers of Excellence

Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP)

Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)

Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE); the Treasury Department made an award to MDEQ in August 2016 to initiate the consortium. 

RESTORE Act Center of Excellence Louisiana has an open RFP. Letters of intent are due December 9, 2016. 

Texas OneGulf and Subsea Systems Institute

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program - Information related to this program is on their dedicated website. The second funding opportunity closed in September and awards are anticipated for early 2017. 

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - On November 17, 2016, 9 exploratory grant recipients were announced. Funding for these programs totals almost $3 million. The awardees and their programs can be found here

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) - The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) released the first Draft Restoration Plan and the comment period was extended to December 9th. In Alabama, the $5 million Swift Tract Living Shoreline project is underway. The Florida TIG is accepting project ideas until December 5, 2016. The Open Ocean TIG implemented the first project to restore pelagic fish in the Gulf. These stories and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund On November 15, 2016, NFWF approved nearly $370 million for new restoration projects on the Gulf Coast. This fourth round of grants supports 24 projects across the 5 Gulf States. The NFWF website has information on all funded projects with a map of all their programs worldwide.

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - The 2017 U.S. Standard Grants, Cycle 1 will be due February 24, 2017. In September 2016, more than $33 million was approved to protect waterfowl and other bird species. These awards, 2017 grant deadlines, and other information are available on the NAWCA website

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) - Registration is open for the Oil Spill Ecosystem Science Conference scheduled February 6-9, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. RFP-VI is open, the deadline to submit questions is February 17, 2017 and full proposals are due March 3, 2017. Get comprehensive information on GoMRI at

Visit our Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Story Map.


The Gulf of Mexico Alliance maintains a Funding Opportunities web page of current opportunities. Below are selected opportunities from that page.

Link to Funding Opportunities page

The Texas Trustee agencies and NFWF are in the process of soliciting projects for the 2017 Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund cycle. New projects should be submitted by January 3, 2017. 

The Florida Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is inviting the public to submit project ideas for restoration in Florida. The deadline is December 5, 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.

Louisiana Restore Act Center of Excellence Request for Proposals - The RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana is requesting proposals for research to support implementation of the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Letters of Intent are due December 9, 2016. Full proposals are due January 25, 2017.

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.

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, Gulf of Mexico Alliance Resilience Team, and the Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice are working together to develop an online, interactive Climate Tool Decision-Support Tree. Applications for Graphic and Website Design are being accepted through a Request for Proposals. Deadline for submission is January 2, 2017.

Corporation for National & Community Service AmeriCorps State and National Grants 2017 - National service to receiving organizations will include areas of support in disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veterans and military service. Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit a Notification of Intent to apply by December 7, 2016. The deadline for applications is January 18, 2017.
Florida Humanities Council Community Project Grants - Community Project grants provide support for the planning and implementation of public humanities programs and resources that meet the needs and interests of local communities. Projects may include lecture series and panel discussions, reading and discussion groups, film series, oral history projects, exhibitions, and the development of cultural resources that complement public programming. The deadline is January 23, 2017.

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Calendar

commentComment Periods

The Louisiana TIG released its first draft plan. The public comment period for Louisiana Restoration Plan has been extended to December 9, 2016. 

In accordance with the RESTORE Act and its implementing regulations, the MDEQ is seeking public review and comment on Mississippi's amended Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP). Comments are due January 17, 2017. 

In accordance with the RESTORE Act and its implementing regulations, the MDEQ is seeking public review and comment on the initial Mississippi State Expenditure Plan (MSEP). Comments are due January 17, 2017.

MDEQ welcomes comments on the 2015 Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan and the 2016 Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan Addendum. The plans reference restoration  under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Comments will be accepted until August 31, 2017 and submitted to 

Search the EPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Database.

Tips for submitting effective comments.

Scroll through our events calendar for these and other upcoming activities.

Visit our Events page

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is teaming up with the Harte Research Institute for a joint meeting of the State of the Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit 2017 and the 2017 All Hands Meeting. Both meetings will be held back-to-back the week of March 26 - 31, 2017. Registration is open.

December 5 and 9:  Decision Support Tree Workshops

December 7:  Sea-Level Rise Observing Infrastructure Inventories & Gap Analysis Webinar

December 10 - 15:  Restore America's Estuaries 8th Annual Summit 
December 16:  Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Meeting

February 6 - 9:  Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference

March 26 - 28:  State of the Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit

March 29 - 31:  Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting

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