Gulf of Mexico Alliance  
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf   

Accepting All Hands Exhibitors

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance started 2019 All Hands planning this month. It is scheduled for June 10-13, 2019 at The Lodge in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Organizers are currently accepting applications for Exhibitors. There are only 20 display spaces available. Be sure to contact Becky Ginn early to secure your participation. 

We expect this popular destination to fill quickly. Register today and make your hotel reservations.

Alliance Storytelling Workshop

In January, the Alliance Education and Engagement Team held a workshop "Visual Messaging 101". David Garraway, Director of the MSU's TV Station, led the group. He covered essential basics such as how to prepare to capture your story and technical tips to ensure your products look and sound good. Participants brought their iPhones or iPads to develop one-minute videos. They either used pre-recorded b-roll or interviewed researchers at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center where the event was held.

David emphasized that anyone sharing their research, management project, or outreach program needs to tell a good story. The Alliance is considering additional opportunities like this one to build on the experience.

Developing An Appreciation for Gulf Environment-Economy Connections - Immerse Yourself

This month, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance held a three-day immersive tour into the inner workings portions of our coastal tourism industry. The effort was part of a broader project funded by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program to increase the Alliance's industry engagement.

Part of a capacity building effort, the intent was to increase a science-based knowledge exchange with businesses that are directly connected to Gulf coastal environments. Alliance Teams reached various sectors of the tourism industry and learned how those businesses interact with their patrons. To aid this interaction, the Alliance facilitated an immersion tour to open dialog with their new partners.


Gulf Star & Microplastics

Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than 5 mm which is about the width of a pencil eraser. They are often mistaken as food and ingested by marine animals of all sizes, from tiny plankton to huge whales. Plastic contains toxins, like BPA, but also absorbs additional pollutants from the water column. Once ingested, the toxins enter the marine food web, where they impact wildlife and seafood.

Research on microplastics is an emerging field. Not a lot is known about their impacts yet. Through Gulf Star, Mississippi State University's Coastal Extension and Research Center developed a Gulf-wide citizen scientist microplastic sampling program. These trained volunteers collect, count, and record microplastics in sediment and water samples across the region. To date, there are 100 sampling sites monitored by 13 different concerned citizen groups contributing to this new research field.


Native American Youth Conservation Training

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs has been working closely with the RESTORE Council and five Gulf tribes in applying $500,000 of settlement funds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project supports summer camps designed to engage tribal youth in conservation, restoration and stewardship of their lands, as well as provide valuable skills and job training.


Read more.
glasses_on_book.jpg
Resources

The Sandbar
The SandBar, a quarterly publication from the National Sea Grant College Program on U.S. ocean and coastal legal issues.

Sound Waves
Sound Waves is a newsletter by the U.S. Geological Survey. It addresses coastal and marine research news. 

NOS by the Numbers
The NOAA National Ocean Service released their 2018 Year in Review "NOS by the Numbers". This resource documents the accomplishments of the man program offices through the past year.

Restoring the Gulf of Mexico
This month Audubon released a comprehensive plan to build a resilient Gulf Coast for birds and people. Audubon's vision is a Comprehensive Gulf Restoration Plan.
Restoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council)  
Complete information on RESTORE Council activity 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 websites of related restoration information. The Gulf Consortium has developed, in collaboration with Manatee County, an amendment to Florida's State Expenditure Plan to accommodate a new project in Manatee County.    
 
Alabama - The State has an updated website Alabama Coastal Restoration that includes a map of all funded projects.   
 
Mississippi - Visit the Office of Restoration web page for announcements, procurement opportunities, project updates, and more.
 
Louisiana - The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) manages restoration activities for the state in conjunction with the State's Master Plan. Currently, a Coastal Master Plan informational display is on tour for display in Louisiana libraries. The exhibit features maps, diagrams and before-and-after pictures to demonstrate how the CPRA is making a difference in slowing down coastal erosion by protecting and restoring Louisiana's unique habitat for humans, wildlife and aquatic species. Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.

TexasFor more information on Texas activities go to 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 Science Program - Current information on this program is available through the RESTORE Science Program website.  

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - 2019 Science Policy Fellowships applications are due March 6, 2019. Learn more about these fellowships, awards, and other program activities.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -  The Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration Project, an Early Restoration Phase IV project led by NOAA, kicked off the third year of a partnership to restore important fish species impacted by the oil spill. Group Trustee Implementation (TIG) announcements this month are:
  • The Mississippi TIG made available information from their November 2018 restoration summit. The State of Mississippi announced the December acquisition of 1,500 acres of coastal wildlife habitat in the Grand Bay area of Jackson County.
  • The Open Ocean TIG held an Open Ocean Monitoring and Adaptive Management Workshop at the 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference. Presentation slides and factsheets are available.
Comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on  www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.   
 
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) -  For information on NFWF supported projects, go to their website.  

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - Information for this program is available on the NAWCA website.

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) - The 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) was held this month, February 4-7, 2019.  This was the 7th year of the conference. Check the 2019 program page for a future report. Comprehensive GoMRI information is on gulfresearchinitiative.org. 

crowdfunding.jpg
Funding

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance maintains a Funding Opportunities web page of programs. Below are selected opportunities from that page.

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission Gulf of Mexico   Aquaculture Consortia FY2019 Funding Opportunity - The GSMFC is seeking proposals to form regionally focused research consortia that will address critical research needs surrounding oyster aquaculture. The pre-proposal deadline is March 15, 2019.

DOI BOR WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency Projects for Fiscal Year 2019 - Projects should increase the reliability of water supplies; improve water management; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate impacts caused by drought. The deadine is March 27, 2019.

Ben & Jerry's Foundation Social and Environmental Justice Projects - One-year grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to grassroots community-organizing groups in the United States working to advance social and environmental justice and sustainable and just-food systems. Grants can be used for both programming and operational costs. The deadline for the pre-application Cycle B is April 15, 2019.

DoE Office of Science Early Career Research Program - The purpose of this program is to support the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and to stimulate research careers in the areas supported by the SC. Search grants.gov for DE-FOA-0002019. The deadline is April 29, 2019.
   
Updated! NOAA RESTORE Science Program 2019-2021 Funding Calendar 
colors_people_group.jpg
Events

Our events page lists workshops, conferences, symposia, trainings, webinars, and other notable activities. Please email us with things to post and share.

Selected events:
  • Climate & Resilience Community of Practice
    April 3-5, 2019
  • GCOOS Annual Members Meeting
    April 4, 2019
  • Louisiana Water Conference
    April 15-16, 2019
  • Mississippi State of the Coast
    May 6, 2019
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands
    June 10-13, 2019
handsome_journalist_wtite.jpg
Comment Periods

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

2019-2023 Update Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama's Estuaries & Coast 2013-2018 Respect the Connect
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program released their draft five-year 2019-2023 management plan update for a 45-day comment period. Comments are due to Bethany Dickey bdickey@mobilebaynep.com prior to close of business on Monday, March 18, 2019.

Draft Amendment Florida State Expenditure Plan
The Gulf Consortium has submitted a new project for Manatee County to the Draft Florida State Expenditure Plan. A public comment period was opened on February 6 for 45-days. Comments should be submitted by March 22, 2019.

Revised Definition Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
The EPA and Department of the Army are proposing new definitions for what constitutes "waters of the United States". The comment period is open until April 15, 2019.

For all federal rules, comments, adjudications or supporting documents visit regulations.gov.

The NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office maintains a bulletin of public notices and news releases related to topics of importance on many Gulf of Mexico issues.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has a website that includes fish regulations, amendments, and meeting announcements. See their Public Hearings for updates on sea turtle release protocol, venting tools, state management of recreational Red snapper, and other pertinent fishery management issues.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance
1151 Robinson Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
  www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org 
For newsletter submissions contact Lee.Yokel@gomxa.org
February 2019

STAY CONNECTED