Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
 
e-Newsletter January 2018  
Jump to our regular sections on Restoration , Funding , Comment Periods , and Events .
GOMA Priority Issue Team Workshops & Mid-Year Meetings
 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Priority Issue Teams are hosting workshops and holding individual team mid-year meetings over the next few months. The one or two-day meetings are intended to give the Teams an opportunity to work more closely on specific projects related to Action Plan III.   

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES)
February 5-8 in New Orleans
 
Benthic Habitat Mapping Workshop
February 5 in New Orleans, LA (in conjunction with GoMOSES)
 
Wildlife & Fisheries Team Meeting
February 7 in New Orleans, LA (in conjunction with GoMOSES)
 
Habitat Resources Team Meeting
February 8 in New Orleans, LA (in conjunction with GoMOSES)
 
Education & Engagement Team Meeting
February 27-28 in Weeks Bay, AL
 
Data & Monitoring Mapping Summit
April 3-5 in Mobile, AL
 
Be sure to contact your team coordinator if you'd like to attend!
Gulf Star Annual Report

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance released this month the Gulf Star program 2017 annual report. In 2016, regional projects received in total $631,000. In 2017, the Alliance is on track to implement more than $750,000 in regional, additional projects. This report presents an overview of the 2016 and 2017 Gulf Star projects. 

The Gulf Star program is a public-private partnership of agencies, businesses, and non-profits that support the priorities directly tied to healthy ecosystems that impact Gulf economies. Current partners include Anadarko, The Nature Conservancy, Freeport-McMoRan, BHP, Shell, NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the five U.S. Gulf States.  

GulfCorps 
Credit: Lawrence Specker al.com

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) launched an innovative regional initiative this month called the GulfCorps Program. Three hundred jobs are expected to be created over three years thanks to the innovative conservation effort. The $7 million-dollar project will be carried out by a partnership formed with TNC, The Corps Network, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), and NOAA. The project is funded through coordination with the NOAA Restoration Center and the RESTORE Council. 


Read the Q&A with TNC's Jeff Dequattro, Restoration Director for the Gulf Mexico and GulfCorps Program Director
New Central Gulf Coast Chapter for Beach Preservation  

The Gulf of The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) has a new Central Gulf Coast Chapter. The ASBPA is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing our coasts by merging science and public policy. The new regional chapter intends to serve as an advocate for the diverse shores and beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana by capitalizing on the time, talents, and treasury of all coastal professionals for preserving, protecting, and enhancing our coasts. 

Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Updates

The Alliance and partners, Ducks Unlimited and The Trust for Public Land, continue to build the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker launched in April 2015. 

Recent project updates to the Tracker include: RESTORE Council bucket 2 and 3 projects, NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund awards, NAS Gulf Restoration Projects, NRDA edits to existing projects, and updates to Department of Treasury materials. Only funded projects and programs are included in the Tracker. 

New, the team developed a calendar for new project submission deadlines and quarterly Tracker updates. 

restorationRestoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) The Council started the new 2018 year with a number of announcements including the appointment of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency as the Council Chair and the approval of the Comprehensive Plan Commitment and Planning Support project. Other announcements include funding of approved projects. Complete information is available on   RestoreTheGulf.gov
 
U.S. Department of Treasury - All RESTORE Act Direct Component activities administered by the Department of Treasury are listed on the official website

In the States

Florida - The Gulf Consortium and  Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintain website of related restoration information.  The Gulf Consortium released the Draft State Expenditure Plan. Two public meetings are planning and public comment is currently being accepted.  Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Triumph activity can be found  here.    
 
Alabama - Read about the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) activities on their website. The AGCRC is currently accepting new NFWF funding suggestions. 
 
Mississippi - To read about current restoration activity in Mississippi 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. Restoration activities are conducted in conjunction with the State's Master Plan. C oastal Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.

TexasAll Deepwater Horizon related Texas restoration activities can be found on www.restorethetexascoast.org .

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 -   Updates and information on this program are found their dedicated website. 

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - The program currently has two grant opportunities open and anticipating a third in February. Applications are open for two fellowship opportunities: Early-Career Research Fellowships and Science Policy Fellowships. Read more. 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 Trustee Council recently approved the Monitoring and Adaptive Management (MAM) Manual Version 1.0. The MAM provides a set of guidelines for monitoring and adaptive management practices that support implementation and evaluation of restoration projects.

The Implementation Groups (TIGs) announcements t
his month include:
  • The Alabama TIG announced the installation of five new osprey nesting platforms. 
  • The Louisiana TIG has two draft plans available for public comment as noted in the public comment section below. 
  • The Open Ocean TIG began the second year of the Oceanic Fish Restoration Project that aims to restore a portion of pelagic fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Working with NFWF, the TIG is working with longline vessel owners to reduce fish mortality. 
All Trustee activities and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) -   This month NFWF announced Texas will receive nearly $15M from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to protect and restore coastal habitats affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and address environmental damages caused by Hurricane Harvey. A complete listing of all GEBF projects funded to date can be found here. The NFWF  website has information on all funded projects with a map of all their programs worldwide. 

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - 2018 grant deadlines and other information are available on the NAWCA website. A meta-database is available to search for previous awards. The next grant cycle deadline is February 2018. 

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) - The 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference will be February 5-8, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.  This program includes Monday workshops and the return of the Data Tools Cafe. Check the website for details. Online registration is still open. Get comprehensive information on GoMRI at gulfresearchinitiative.org. 

Visit the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Story Map.
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fundingFunding

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

BOEM Environmental Studies Planning - BOEM is inviting ideas for new studies related to Outer Continental Shelf resource assessments. The deadline is February 5, 2018.
 
NFWF Longleaf Stewardship Fund Request for Proposals - Proposals are to expand and enhance longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management across longleaf pine's historical range, as well as the restoration and enhancement of bottomland hardwood forests within priority focal areas.The deadline is February 8, 2018. 

NAS Gulf Research Program Capacity Building Grants: Education Advancing Scientific and Environmental Literacy in Children and Youth - This grant aims to support experiences that foster the development of scientific and environmental literacy, skills, competencies, and capabilities that are critical to cultivating a next generation of informed citizens, scientists, engineers, and decision-makers. Letters of Intent (LOIs) are required and due February 14, 2018. 

NFWF 2018 Alabama Funding Cycle - In an effort to ensure project suggestions are received in time for review by the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for potential funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF), please enter your project suggestion(s) into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal. If you have already entered your project suggestion on this website, it is not necessary to re-submit it. The deadline is February 16, 2018. 

NOAA National Sea Grant College Program 2018 Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes National Aquaculture Initiative - The competition is designed to foster the aquaculture sector by addressing one of three identified priorities. Applications to Louisiana Sea Grant must be submitted by March 2, 2018.
 
Science and Restoration  Funding Calendar
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commentComment Periods

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

The Louisiana Trustees extended the public comment period for the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities. Comments are now due by February 2, 2018.

The Louisiana Trustees extended the public comment period for the Draft Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana. Comments are now due by February 5, 2018. 

NMFS is soliciting written comments on the proposed rule "Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Fishery of Gulf of Mexico; Modifications to Greater Amberjack Recreational Fishing Year and Fixed Closed Season". Comments are due on or before February 10, 2018.
 
Louisiana Department of Environment Quality is seeking written comments on a draft guidance document "Louisiana Water Quality Trading Guidance Draft". Comments are due by February 28, 2018.     

The Draft Florida State Expenditure Plan is open for public comments. Planning and implementation relate to bucket 3 expenditures. The deadline is March 2, 2018. 
 
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding public meetings and soliciting comments on the 2019-2024 National outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The deadline for comments is March 9, 2018. 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has an updated website. Improvements make finding fish regulations, amendments, and meetings much easier. See their Public Hearings for updates on sea turtle release protocol, deep sea coral protection areas, and other pertinent fishery management issues.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance | 228-215-1246 | www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org 
For newsletter submissions contact Lee.Yokel@gomxa.org
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