Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf

Gulf of Mexico Alliance
e-Newsletter February 2017  
Jump to our regular sections on Restoration, Funding, Comment Periods, and Events.

2017 All Hands Meeting
One Gulf Summit + All Hands

March 26 - 31, 2017

Omni Hotel, Houston, Texas

What to Expect

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2017 All Hands Meeting is just three weeks away. There is still time to register and participate in this year's event. A few spaces are available for the Tools Café.
At the beginning of the week, the Alliance is partnering with the Harte Research Institute's One Gulf Summit, March 26 - 28. This will serve as the "opening plenary" for All Hands. During this program, attendees will hear high level discussions on important Gulf issues related to the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable Gulf of Mexico.
On Tuesday, March 28th the Alliance will host an afternoon Science Panel Discussion followed by the popular Tools Café reception. On, Wednesday, March 29th all Alliance Priority Issue Teams will separate into their working sessions for the remainder of the week. If you've not attended before, specific details related to the Governors' Action Plan III and long-term Gulf sustainability will be discussed. Not all Teams will meet Friday, so check with yours to confirm.
Education & Engagement Team Update

In the past two weeks, we've reintroduced you to the Cross-Team Initiatives and the Data and Monitoring Team. Continuing this thread, we'll review the Education and Engagement (EE) Team. The Team's overarching goal is for people to become stewards who enhance the environmental, ecological and economic health of the Gulf. Over the past five months, the EE Team has been reorganizing into working groups that match the focus areas within the Governors' Action Plan III.
During All Hands, they will separate into these groups: Priority Issue Team, Education Community of Practice, and Awareness and they will prioritize actions for consideration in the 2017 Gulf Star Program. The EE Team has a survey open for volunteers to each area.

The EE Team supported six 2016 Gulf Star awards. Of these, five overlap with the Marine Debris Cross-Team Initiative. Representatives from the organizations will provide an overview of their projects during the Marine Debris session. 

Regardless of what Alliance Team you choose to join, we welcome everyone to join our working sessions. Participants can attend one or both meetings, the Summit and/or All Hands.


One Gulf Summit March 26 - 28, 2017

All Hands 29 - 31, 2017

Tools Cafe' submission deadline March 10, 2017 
Register today

Sponsor All Hands

Thank You Sponsors


Gulf Sea Grant Program

The Nature Conservancy * NOAA * EPA Gulf of Mexico Program

Allen Engineering & Science * GCOOS * Xylem Inc

Freese and Nichols

  @HarteResearch #sgmsummit @GoMAlliance #AllHands

Surface Elevation Table (SET)

Gap Analysis Report Now Out

Recently, the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) published a report identifying the gaps in Surface Elevation Table (SET) data for the Gulf of Mexico. The report can be accessed on the NGOM SSC website,, under Gulf SLR Assets.

Runoff Risk Decision Support

NOAA's Central Region Collaboration Team recently completed two short videos on first-of-its-kind decision support information and related tools to address the challenge of nutrient runoff from farm fields. Many of the nation's lakes and streams suffer from water quality degradation caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients can eventually concentrate in coastal areas such as the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico, contribute to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia, and result in both economic and environmental impacts.

Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker - Updates 
To track regional projects resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we've continued to maintain the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker. Partners in the region and internationally have focused attention on the Gulf of Mexico. This work is reflected in nearly 600 programs and projects logged into the Tracker (597 to be exact). New projects added include:

  • 2016 NAS Fellowships and Grants
  • RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence projects in Texas and Mississippi
  • RESTORE Council Comprehensive Plan Bucket 2 projects
  • NRDA Early Restoration Phases IV and V
All items in the Tracker reflect 97% of known DWH-funded projects. As a reminder, the Tracker only contains funded projects. You will also notice that categories have been updated to reflect the types of work underway better.

If you encounter something you believe in error, please let us know. If you are aware of funded projects that we're missing, with the proper contact information, we'd be happy to work on getting them included. The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker is a partnership of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, and The Trust for Public Lands. 


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. Be sure to scroll down on their webpage for complete information. The Board of Directors met on February 8, 2017. Presentations concerning county plan schedules is available.  

Alabama - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) closed a solicitation for project consideration in the Phase V funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund on February 24th. Information on the AGCRC can be followed on their website

MississippiThe Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Beach Outfalls Challenge registration is open until March 15, 2017. To read more about 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. This and other coastal Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.  

Texas - On February 17, in consultation with the Office of the Governor, a draft list of projects for RESTORE Bucket 1 grant program recipients was released. The next step will be the development of the draft Texas Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP). Once complete, the draft MIP to include the project list will be posted for public comment. No public comment is being taken at this time. To review the list and other Texas restoration activity, go to

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

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

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - NAS announcements and activities related to Gulf of Mexico research and restoration can be found on the Gulf Research Program website

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)

The following Trustee Implementation Groups (TIG) have projects available for review through the NRDA interactive DIVER story map and/or environmental compliance page. 

  • Alabama TIG = 9 
  • Florida TIG = 34  
  • Louisiana TIG = 4
  • Mississippi TIG = 7
  • Texas TIG = 7
  • Regionwide TIG = 3
  • Open Ocean TIG = 5
All TIG activity and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund 
The NFWF website has information on all funded projects with a map of all their programs worldwide.

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - 2017 grant deadlines and other information are available on the NAWCA website

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) - 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

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. 
NFWF RFP Monarch Butterfly Conservation - Efforts support the increase in monarch butterfly population numbers within the United States. The pre-proposal deadline is March 13, 2017. Full-proposals are due May 9, 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. 
NFWF Resilient Communities 2017 Call for Proposals - Wells Fargo and NFWF have partnered to create the Resilient Communities program. Through improvements to natural features and enhanced community capacity, the program will help communities prepare for future impacts associated with sea level rise, water quantity and quality and forest conservation. Pre-proposals are due March 30, 2017. Full proposal are due May 31, 2017.

IDEA Impact Grants - IDEA seeks to promote new knowledge in higher education in the fields of teaching, learning, and campus climate. The deadline is March 31, 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.  
Corporation for National & Community Service AmeriCorps State and National Grants - With this competition, CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in Healthy Futures related to prescription drug abuse and Safer Communities related to law enforcement and community relations. The deadline is May 10, 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 Louisiana Department of Education has updated the Every Student Succeeds Act state plan with a Draft ESSA Framework 2.0. Public comment can be submitted to the Department at

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 

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.

NOAA NMFS is taking comments on a proposed rule, "Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, and Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands". This rule intends modify the timing of accountability measures based closures. The deadline is March 13, 2017. 

NOAA NMFS is taking comments on a proposed rule, "Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 4". This rule addresses fish to include Atlantic Cobia. The deadline is March 23, 2017. 

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


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.

March 1, 2, 7: Climate Tools Decision Support Tree Workshops

March 23: Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Annual Members Meeting

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

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

March 31: Teacher Workshop - Exploring the Deep Ocean, NOAA & Dauphin Island Sea Lab

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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