April 2015                                                                      Volume 1, Issue 1
Cooperative Quarterly
Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative          
In This Issue
Email us for more information about the Cooperative or for suggestions to be included in the next Cooperative Quarterly

First Issue of Cooperative Quarterly!
Welcome to our first issue of Cooperative Quarterly! The nGOM Sentinel Site Cooperative is very excited to start a new way to communicate about sea-level rise activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
In this newsletter, you can get updates on the latest research and tools, check out the upcoming meetings, and read about relevant funding opportunities. Be sure to check out our feature story this quarter on the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative's soon to be completed evaluation of the sea level affecting marshes model (SLAMM) on the Gulf Coast!
Feature Story: Evaluating Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model in the Gulf of Mexico


The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC) is a partner on the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA) along with the three other Gulf Coast LCCs and many federal, state, regional, and local partners. The GCVA highlighted many gaps in available information necessary for making informed decisions regarding conservation and restoration, including impacts from sea-level rise. In an effort to address some of these gaps the GCP LCC funded a single year project to evaluate the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) along the Gulf Coast.


Scope of Work 

Warren Pinnacle Consulting (WPC) compiled existing SLAMM models  for the Gulf of Mexico (run by them and other partners, such at The Nature Conservancy) to identify where models had been run and where gaps occurred.  In this initial inventory, the project partners realized that many of the models run had different assumptions, leaving the models incomparable.  The team at WPC reran all the models using a consistent approach for the entire study area with two important assumptions:  

(1) developed land would not be protected and  

(2) marshes will respond to increased flooding with increased accumulation of sediment (e.g., mechanistic accretion models were included).

The project team examined multiple habitats and land use categories under a variety of sea-level rise scenarios to assess habitat loss and impacted focal species. In total over 40 million acres were modeled at cell sizes of 5 to 30 meters across the entire U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico.


Results and Outputs 

This project will have many exciting outputs including raster GIS files from all aspects of the project; however, the project is not quite finished yet.  The final report should be done within the next two weeks, but in the meantime a webinar was presented on February 4th, 2015. In this webinar Jonathan Clough, president of Warren Pinnacle Consulting, reviewed the methods used and some of the results from the project. You can view the webinar here.


Points of Contact 

Project progress: Cynthia Edwards c.kallio.edwards@gmail.com   

Model and technical details: Jonathan Clough jclough@warrenpinnacle.com 

The Conference Room
Get information and links about upcoming meetings, workshops, and conferences here.

Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

What: A webinar that brings together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration.  It will focus on the challenges of, and opportunities for, creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.

Who: Environmental Law Institute, Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative, and the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs. 

Dr. Kathryn Mengerink, Director, Ocean Program Environmental Law Institute
Dr. Robert Twilley, Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant
Jonathan Porthouse, Senior Manager, Coastal Habitat Restoration, Gulf
Environmental Benefit Fund
Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy

Dr. Tracie Sempier, Coastal Storms Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant

When: April 10th, 2015, 1pm - 3pm CDT 

Where: Online

Registration: Webinar Registration  


Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative Partnership Workshop

What: The nGOM Sentinel Site Cooperative is inviting all partners to participate in a workshop to identify partner needs, update the Implementation Plan based on those needs, develop a work plan for the next two years, and discuss improved communication.

Who: Anyone on the Gulf Coast who is involved with sea-level rise research, model or tool development, or resource management.

When: April 28th, 2015 10 am - 3 pm CDT

Where: Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve 6005 Bayou Heron Rd Moss Point, MS 39562  

More info: The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative 


Big Bend Partnership Meeting

What: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hosting a meeting of the newly formed Big Bend Partnership to discuss current research in the Big Bend Area of Florida, along with collaboration and funding opportunities. The group's goal is to focus on research prioritization and needs in the Big Bend.

Who: US FWS, FDACS Aquaculture, FDEP, UF, FCO, and USGS

When: May 8th, 2015

Where: FWC Marine Lab 11350 SW 153rd Ct. Cedar Key, FL 32625

More info:Ashley Ballou, ashley.ballou@myfwc.com 


Climate Community of Practice Meeting

What: Sixth Annual Meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice

When:May 19th - 21st, 2015

Where: The Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center 5300 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL

More info: More info and registration can be found here

2015 All Hands Meeting
Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2015 All Hands Meeting.  Much of the meeting will be devoted to Action Plan III development through the reorganized Priority Issue Teams.  
When: June 16th - 18th, 2015
Where: IP Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi
More info: Information, registration, and schedule can be found here 
Tool Box
This section has information on new or recently released tools and assets for use in SLR research, modeling, management, community planning, or outreach.

Gulf of Mexico Surface Elevation Table Inventory

Partners: nGOM Sentinel Site Cooperative, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, U.S. Geological Survey

Info: A comprehensive inventory of all Surface Elevation Tables in the United States portion of the Gulf of Mexico

Contact:The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative  


Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

Partners: NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Info: An interactive map to help start your community discussions about hazard impacts with maps of your area that show people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding.

FEMA Climate Change Portal
Partners: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Info: This page provides information about climate change and links to related tools and documents.  Sections include: Tools and Data, Knowledge and Capacity, Publications, and Strategy and Policy
Location: FEMA Climate Change Portal 
Research Nook
Exciting research projects that are recently completed or nearing completion can be found here.  Email us if you have something you would like featured in the next issue.

Global Warming is Now Slowing Down the Circulation of the Oceans - With Potentially Dire Consequences 
Chris Mooney, Washington Post March 23, 2015
Introductory Paragraph:
Welcome to this week's installment of "Don't Mess with Geophysics." Last week, we learned about the possible destabilization of the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica, which could unleash over 11 feet of sea level rise in coming centuries. And now this week brings news of another potential mega-scale perturbation. According to a  new study  just out in Nature Climate Change by Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a group of co-authors, we're now seeing a slowdown of the great ocean circulation that, among other planetary roles, helps to partly drive the  Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast. The consequences could be dire - including significant extra sea level rise for coastal cities like New York and Boston.
Washington Post Full Article: Full text found here at washingtonpost.com
Full Article:
Full text of Rahmstorf et al. found here at nature.com

Dynamic Ocean Management: Identifying the Critical Ingredients of Dynamic Approaches to Ocean Resource Management

Lewison et al., 2015. BioScience Advance Access March 11, 2015
Abstract: Dynamic ocean management, or management that uses near real-time data to guide the spatial distribution of commercial activities, is an emerging approach to balance ocean resource use and conservation. Employing a wide range of data types, dynamic ocean management can be used to meet multiple objectives-for example, managing target quota, bycatch reduction, and reducing interactions with species of conservation concern. Here, we present several prominent examples of dynamic ocean management that highlight the utility, achievements, challenges, and  potential of this approach. Regulatory frameworks and incentive structures, stakeholder participation, and technological applications that align with user capabilities are identified as key ingredients to support successful implementation. By addressing the variability inherent in ocean systems, dynamic ocean management represents a new approach to tackle the pressing challenges of managing a fluid and complex environment.
Full Text: Full text found here at academia.edu

Evidence of Climate-Driven Ecosystem Reorganization in the Gulf of Mexico
Karnauskas et al., 2015 . Global Change Biology Vol 21
Abstract: The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most ecologically and economically valuable marine ecosystems in the world and is affected by a variety of natural and anthropogenic phenomena including climate, hurricanes,coastal development, agricultural runoff, oil spills, and fishing. These complex and interacting stressors, together with the highly dynamic nature of this ecosystem, present challenges for the effective management of its resources. We analyze a compilation of over 100 indicators representing physical, biological, and economic aspects of the Gulf of Mexico and find that an ecosystem-wide reorganization occurred in the mid-1990s. Further analysis of fishery landings composition data indicates a major shift in the late 1970s coincident with the advent of US national fisheries management policy, as well as significant shifts in the mid-1960s and the mid-1990s. These latter shifts are aligned temporally with changes in a major climate mode in the Atlantic Ocean: the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). We provide an explanation for how the AMO may drive physical changes in the Gulf of Mexico, thus altering higher-level ecosystem dynamics. The hypotheses presented here should provide focus for further targeted studies, particularly in regard to whether and how management should adjust to different climate regimes or states of nature. Our study highlights the challenges in understanding the effects of climatic drivers against a background of multiple anthropogenic pressures, particularly in a system where these forces interact in complex and nonlinear ways.
Full Text: Full text found here at Wileys Online Library
Cash Corner
Funding opportunities relevant to sea-level rise on the Gulf Coast can be found here!  Please let us know of any that are coming up.

GCOOS-RA Calls for Letters of Intent 
What: The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) is soliciting Letters of Intent (LoI) for proposals to carry out high priority activities including maintenance of GCOOS, expanding the HFR system and autonomous underwater and surface vehicles, numerical modeling, and satellite observations and products.

Due date: April 17th, 2015 at 5 pm CDT 

Funding amount:
Max award is $225,000/year 

Full proposal call:
GCOOS call for LOI 
Data Needs
If you are looking for specific types of data you can request information here to see if  the data you need already exists.  Like the personals in the newspaper: Seeking a dataset that is interested in taking things long-term...

Alabama Conservation Specialist Seeking Texas Erosion/Accretion Data 
Mary Kate Brown of The Nature Conservancy is currently working on a SLAMM analysis for San Antonio Bay and Copano Bay of Texas.  She is researching local erosion/accretion parameters including, but not limited to, marshes (freshwater and saltwater), coastal forests, mangroves, and beaches.  Contacts for local experts of these bay systems would also be appreciated.  Please email Mary Kate at mkbrown@tnc.org with any information.