Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
e-Newsletter January 2017  
Jump to our regular sections on Restoration, Funding, Comment Periods, and Events. 

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is hiring a Program Coordinator. See the Job Postings page on our website for more information. 
        One Gulf Summit      2017 All Hands Meeting
March 26 - 28, 2017      March 29 - 31, 2017
Omni Hotel, Houston, Texas   

Planning is well underway for the 2017 One Gulf Summit and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting.  The Summit has a robust agenda available on Highlights address challenges that focus on assessing short-term and long-term restoration; effectively linking environmental, human, and economic health; and engaging our international partners relative to the Large Marine Ecosystem that is the Gulf of Mexico. 

The All Hands meeting involves working sessions across all the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Teams and Initiatives. Participants will make progress on prioritized objectives from the Governors' Action Plan III. The Alliance will host a Tools Café that will bridge the two meetings and is open to all registrants. A Call for Tool Demonstrations is accepting submissions and will close February 17, 2017.

Everyone is invited to participate in either or both events. To ensure the negotiated room rate, make your reservations now as space is limited. 

Submit to demonstrate a Tool.
Register today.
Make your accommodations at the Omni Hotel.
Sponsor All Hands.

Our Sponsors
Gulf Sea Grant Program
The Nature Conservancy * NOAA * EPA Gulf of Mexico Program
Allen Engineering & Science * GCOOS * Xyleminc
  @HarteResearch #sgmsummit @GoMAlliance #AllHands

FL DEP Deepwater Horizon Project Map
FL DEP Deepwater Horizon
Project Map
Restoration in the Florida Gulf Coastal Counties 
an update by Jim Muller
Bay County RESTORE Act Coordinator

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance reached out to Bay County, Florida RESTORE Act Coordinator Jim Muller for an in-depth overview of Direct Component funds in Florida's Gulf coastal counties: 

Fund allocation and expenditure resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill appears clear in the graphs and figures.  It is actually a multipart process interwoven across federal agencies, states, counties, and parishes.  As program are implemented, these relationships increase in complexity.  The RESTORE Act Direct Component and Oil Spill Impact Component provisions for Florida differ from those of the other four Gulf coastal states.  In those states, much or all of project selection is made at the state level.  In Florida, the Direct Component funds (also known as Pot 1) are reserved for the use of individual Florida Gulf coastal counties. 

BP Datasets Now Discoverable through GoMRI Data Cooperative 

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill initiated one of the largest rapid environmental assessments undertaken for the Gulf of Mexico. Government agencies and BP collected data through the Deepwater Horizon Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process. Government NRDA data are available to the public through the DIVER system. Now, recently released BP NRDA data are available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative or GRIIDC, managed by Harte Research Institute. 


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 RESTORE Council met and approved the Comprehensive Plan Update. One overarching update to the plan was improvements in the Council's decision making ability. A vimeo recording of the meeting and additional Council Information is on their website

In the States

FloridaThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a comprehensive website. 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. The Gulf Consortium is going through a process to select Permanent Management Services. The Board of Directors will consider recommendations at a meeting on February 8, 2017. 

Alabama - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) will consider projects for Phase V funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. New projects should be entered into the Project Suggestion Portal by February 24, 2017. It is not necessary to re-submit. Information on the AGCRC can be followed on their website

MississippiThe Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Beach Outfalls Challenge registration opened on January 9, 2017. The Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group is accepting public review and comment on their Draft 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment. MDEQ also issued a Winter edition of their Mississippi Restoration Review. 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. CPRA is currently taking comments on the 2017 Coastal Master Plan draft annual plan through March 26, 2017. Public meetings are planned.

On January 13, CPRA released a 2017 Master Plan Data Viewer that allows residents to learn more about their flood risk. On January 20, the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group released the First Final Restoration Plan. On the same day, the State of Louisiana's First Amended RESTORE Plan was submitted for formal acceptance by the U.S. Department of Treasury and RESTORE Council. Amendments over time will include additional projects and programs proposed for funding. These and other updates are available on the CPRA website.  

Texas - 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. When released, the recommended project list will be available for public comment.

Centers of Excellence

Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP)
Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) 
RESTORE Act Center of Excellence Louisiana 
Texas OneGulf
Texas Subsea Systems Institute has a Research Grant opportunity open.

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program - The second funding opportunity closed in September and awards are anticipated for early 2017. Keep up to date on current or future funding opportunities with their Funding Calendar. Information related to this program and others is on their dedicated website. 

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - Research and Develop Grants Preventing the Next Spill letters of intent are due February 1, 2017. The Early-Career Research and Science Policy Fellowships applications are open. NAS is collaborating on a National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Open Science for Synthesis Training Course to be held July 10-28, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California. The deadline to apply is February 20, 2017. For these announcements and other NAS information visit the Gulf Research Program website

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -
  • The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is requesting new project ideas be submitted by February 3, 3017. They recently held to public meetings on their draft restoration plan. Notes are available as well as fact sheets on selected projects.
  • The Florida TIG cancelled Phase III of a Gulf Breeze Boat Ramp due to Pensacola Bay Bridge construction. The project may be considered again in the future.
  • The Louisiana TIG approved its first restoration plan this month after receiving comments and making amendments in late 2016.
  • The Mississippi TIG released the state's first Draft Restoration Plan on December 27, 2016 and those comments are due by February 10, 2017.
  • The Texas TIG began the creation and deployment of three artificial reefs in December and continue that work into the new year.
All TIG activity 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) - The Oil Spill Ecosystem Science Conference is right around the corner, February 6-9, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Online registration is closed but late registration will be taken on-site. 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

Alabama Trustee Implementation Group Requests Suggestions for Second Restoration Plan by February 3, 2017.

Florida Sea Grant Biennial Call for Proposals 2018-2020 -- Proposals must address the new Florida Sea Grant College Program Priorities that reflect healthy coastal environments; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; resilient communities and economies; and, environmental literacy and workforce development. The Call for Statement of Interest deadline is February 13, 2017.

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium 2018-2020 Research Program - Projects selected for funding will address innovative research on coastal issues in Alabama and Mississippi in one ore more of three focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; and resilient communities and economies. Pre-proposals are due February 17, 2017. 

Alabama NFWF Phase V Funding Cycle Project Suggestions being accepted by by the State of Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources through their portal until February 24, 2017. 

Subsea Systems Institute, one of two Texas Centers of Excellence, Collaborative, Multi-Institutional Research Grant Opportunity - Accepting applications from teams (existing or new) to develop innovative research which can positively impact safe and reliable exploration and production from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico reservoirs. The deadline is February 24, 2017.  

Louisiana Sea Grant 2018-2020 Omnibus Research Request for Proposals - Proposals should promote interdisciplinary solutions using university research to address complex and interrelated ecological, economic and social challenges that affect the state's adaptation strategies. The Statements of Interest are due March 3, 2017. Full proposals are due May 22, 2017.

NOAA FY 2017 Coastal Resilience Grants Program - Proposed projects should build resilience in U.S. coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems. The program intends to reduce risk from extreme weather events and climate-related hazards. The deadline is March 15, 2017.
NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program - RCS will make awards to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. The deadline is April 21, 2017.  

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Calendar
commentComment Periods

Click here to request a comment period to be shared in our next newsletter.  

The Mobile District of the US Army Corps of Engineers is seeking input for scoping and an environmental impact statement for a Proposed Pascagoula River Drought Resiliency Project, George County and Jackson County, Mississippi. The comment deadline is February 6, 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 

Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group released the first Draft Restoration Plan. Public comments are due February 10, 2017. 

NOAA seeks public comment for Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and wing Nets. Public meeting are scheduled and comments may be submitted by January 30, 2017 and February 14, 2017.

The Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON) released a draft of their new five year Strategic Plan. Email Executive Director Craig McClain, Ph.D. directly with comments and edits to with STRATEGIC PLAN in the subject line no later than February 17, 2017.
USACE Mississippi River, Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, Louisiana, New Industrial Canal Lock and Connecting Channels Project - Draft General Reevaluation Report and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is open for public comment. The due date is February 20, 2017.

Natural Resource Trustees in Alabama released the Ciba-Geigy (McIntosh Plant) National Priorities List Site Draft Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Assessment on January 26, 2017. Public comment will be taken for 45 days following the notice.

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is taking comments on the  2017 Coastal Master Plan Draft Annual Plan. Comments are due by March 26, 2017. 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has several amendments at different stages of amendment and review open for public comment. These include but are not limited to deep sea coral, reef fish stocks, and Red Snapper management among others. These can be accessed on their page Scoping through Implementation

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. All are welcome.

February 1: Decision Support Tree Workshop, Texas
February 3-4: Lousiana Environmental Education Symposium
February 6-9:  Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
February 22-25: Environmental Education Association of Alabama Conference
March 26-28:  State of the Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit
March 29-31:  Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting
May 16-18: Climate and Resilience Community of Practice in the Gulf of Mexico
Rescheduled November 15-17: GOMA Coastal Resilience Team Fall Meeting

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