e-Newsletter April 2017 CORRECTION
Correction: Bay County, Florida has not yet been selected to establish a place-based estuary program. The RESTORE Council is anticipated to release a Request for Proposals to establish a place-based estuary program in Northwest Florida.
All Hands Meeting Highlights
|2017 GOMA All Hands Meeting|
Each year the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is pleased to host our partners at our annual All Hands Meeting. While the Alliance provides a unique networking opportunity, the true progress is made in the Team and Cross-Team meetings. These sessions allow our members to take action on issue of importance to the Gulf. Here's a rundown on some of the accomplishments this year.
Business Advisory Council Needs Input
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Business Advisory Council is conducting a survey of private businesses in the region. The purpose is to assist the Alliance's Priority Issue Teams by aligning their projects with issues that are important to our Gulf industry partners. The survey takes less than 10 minutes and can be found here:
Please participate - your input is valuable!
Louisiana's Disappearing Coast
Just two days before Earth Day, Louisiana Governor Edwards issued a state of emergency over the state's disappearing coast. As the state takes action on its $50 billion, 50-year Master Plan, the need for national attention has never been more dire. More than half the state's population lives along the rapidly eroding coastline. The Governor wants to advance the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects. The importance of the land resides not only with the state's residents but also with industries such as energy, maritime transportation, fisheries, and more.
Activities related to Deepwater Horizon oil spill research and restoration are updated monthly.
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council)
- Find up to date information on RestoreTheGulf.gov
The Council has been very active over the past month. On March 23rd, Acting Chairperson Daniel Jiron (USDA) approved the Louisiana State Expenditure Plan. In turn, on April 19th, Mississippi's SEP was approved. SEPs are required for the Spill Impact Component or "Bucket 3" and describe the guidelines with which a state will expend RESTORE related funds.
Also on the April 19th, the Council issued a 30-day Federal Register notice for public input on proposed Tampa Bay Estuary Program projects. Approximately $1.5 million would fund five coastal restoration elements to include: biosolids energy, Robison Preserve expansion, invasive plant removal, and a pond restoration. The deadline to comment is May 19, 2017.
In addition, two amendments were approved to the Council's Initial Funded Priorities List. One regarded the State of Louisiana Lowermost Mississippi River Management project and a full allocation of $9.3 million. The second was the State of Florida Palm River Restoration Project Phase II for East McKay Bay.
The Council is working with Bay County, Florida to establish a place-based estuary program in northwest Florida. Bay County anticipates a Request for Proposals will be released soon.
In the States
- Each impacted county engages directly through the Gulf Consortium
and the Florida Association of Counties. On April 25th, FDEP announced a RESTORE award to the Escambia County Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project. The grant will support planning, design, and permitting of the restoration. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a comprehensive website.
- On March 14th, the AGCRC released a list of Request for Evaluation Projects. Projects receiving more than 4 RFEs move forward in the evaluation process. Follow Alabama restoration on the AGCRC website.
- MDEQ issued the spring Restoration Newsletter. In it, the Round Island restoration success is highlighted with a warning to boaters. The public is asked to stay away as loose materials are too dangerous to walk on. The state also has several solicitations open. To read about Mississippi restoration activities visit Making Mississippi Whole.
- The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council activities. Coastal Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.
- After releasing a draft list of projects for Bucket 1, the state is writing the draft Texas Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP). All Texas restoration activities can be found on www.restorethetexascoast.org
NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program
- 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
. Two Research-Practice Grants are open and mandatory letters of intent are due May 3, 2017.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)
- All TIG activity and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.
- The Alabama TIG approved its first restoration plan and environmental impact statement. The plan identifies six preferred projects in coastal Alabama.
- The Florida TIG announced that its Oyster Cultch Placement implementation was completed. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will monitor the project for 10 years. The goal is oyster habitat enhancement in the bay systems.
- Louisiana closes its Request for Restoration Project Ideas on April 30, 2017. The primary focus for this TIG's request is restoration that restores and conserves wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats.
- The Open Ocean TIG is requesting public input to identify projects. The TIG is targeting a wide-range of species for restoration including: water column fish and invertebrates, sea turtles, birds, marine mammals, sturgeon, and mesophotic and deep benthic communities. The project deadline is May 15, 2017.
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
. A meta-database is available to search
for previous awards.
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
NAS Gulf Research Program Research-Practice Grants - Mandatory letter of intent is due May 3, 2017. Full proposals are due June 28, 2017.
NFWF RFP Monarch Butterfly Conservation -- Efforts support the increase in monarch butterfly population numbers within the United States. The pre-proposal deadline was March 13, 2017. Full-proposals are due May 9, 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.
GM STEM Education Proposals -- Project proposals must improve the presence and persistence of students studying science, technology, engineering, and math. The deadline for letters of inquiry is May 12, 2017. Invitations to submit a full proposal are based on merit.
NRDA Open Ocean TIG is identifying restoration projects for 2017-2020 planning years. The deadline to submit project ideas is May 15, 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 were due March 3, 2017. Full proposals are due May 22, 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 was February 13, 2017. If invited, full proposals are due May 29, 2017.
NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Calendar
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
The Gulf of Mexico Regional Coastal Training program is hosting four workshops this month on oysters, landscaping, living shorelines, and estuaries. Get more information
May 16-18: Climate and Resilience Community of Practice in the Gulf of Mexico
November 15-17: GOMA Coastal Resilience Team Fall Meeting