Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
February 2021
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance publishes 2020 Gulf Star Report
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance recently released the 2020 Gulf Star Report. The Gulf Star Program is a public-private partnership, supporting the goals of healthy beaches, clean waters, productive ecosystems, and thriving coastal communities in the Gulf region. The annual report highlights programs and successes accomplished through the Alliance’s Priority Issue Teams and Cross-Team Initiatives.

The Gulf Star Program boasts some impressive numbers. Thirty-three projects have been completed to date and 11 are in progress. These shared impacts are made possible by the Gulf Star partners: NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BHP, Shell, Freeport McMoRan, Hess, Chevron, Clean Gulf Associates, Equinor, and Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area Program.

Without the support of our Gulf Star partners, these projects would not be possible. To learn more or to become a Gulf Star partner, please contact Becky Ginn. For the full report please visit our website.
New products highlight successes from the Monitoring Community of Practice
Over the last two and half years, the Alliance Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Community of Practice (MCoP) has provided a forum for coordination of monitoring and mapping within the larger restoration community. The MCoP was a major component of the RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP) and contributed significantly to developing the CMAP Inventory. CMAP evaluated over 12,500 programs and projects, included 544 monitoring and mapping programs in the final inventory, and provided details for 22 parameters including habitats, land use, elevation, and water quality.

Several one-pagers are now available highlighting important information from this effort:

Full reports and products are available here.  
GoMCon announces virtual preview panelists
The Gulf of Mexico Conference (GoMCon) virtual preview will be on April 14, 2021, from 10 am-1 pm CT. To register, click here. Dr. Jack E. Davis will give a keynote address. Dr. Davis is the Pulitzer-prize winning author of “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” (2017). Following the keynote address, we will present three panel sessions with a broad array of experts who will address key restoration and research efforts current to the Gulf of Mexico with an opportunity for Q&A at the end.

Panel 1- “Restoration and Resilience in the Gulf”:
· Buck Sutter (RESTORE Council)
· Greg Grandy (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority)
· Tanner Johnson (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund)

Panel 2- “Gulf Restoration Science”:
· Dr. David Yoskowitz (Harte Research Institute)
· Dr. Megan La Peyre (U.S. Geological Survey)
· Dr. Monty Graham (Florida Institute of Oceanography)
· Renee Collini (Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama, Florida Sea Grant Consortium)

Panel 3- “Gulf Science and Research”:
· Dr. Brian Dzwonkowski (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)
· Dr. Scott Hagen (Louisiana State University)
· Dr. Steve Murawski (University of South Florida)

To learn more about our panelists and register to attend, please click here.
Register now for GOMA Oyster Management Data Sharing Workshop
Please join us for an Oyster Management Data Sharing Virtual Workshop on March 3, 2021 from 9:00am – 11:30am Central. We will explore oyster-related datasets, prioritize data for inclusion in the Gulf of Mexico Open Data Platform (GOMOD), and continue developing an oyster management community of practice for the Gulf region.

This workshop will continue to build on input related to oyster data use, sharing, and needs; resources; and recommendations for future work. This is summarized in A Blueprint for Regional Data Sharing in the Gulf of Mexico: Oyster Data Sharing. 

Register for the virtual workshop here. After registering, you will receive the Zoom meeting log-in instructions. For questions, please contact Christina Mohrman.
Partner News
CPRA receives $26.7 million RESTORE Act Grant 
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has been awarded $26.7 million to fund the dredging of 1.2 million cubic yards to begin construction of a lock complex adjacent to the Bubba Dove Floodgate on the Houma Navigation Canal. To learn more click here.

Sea Grant announces $4.7 million for 12 U.S. aquaculture projects
The three-year project is one of 12 projects selected to receive federal funding in a competitive funding opportunity through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program. $1M of funds will be administered through Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to eight institutions for a project lead by Mississippi State University assistant research professor of aquaculture, Ganesh Karunakaran. For more info visit here.

RESTORE CMAP looking for portal feedback
The RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP) would appreciate knowing how you and your organization are using the Gulf Coast Monitoring and Assessment Portal (formerly “CMAP Monitoring and Assessment Webtool”) and hear your suggestions for continuation. GCMAP Webtool Use Survey 

The city of Apalachicola completes resilience planning for vulnerable structures
The city of Apalachicola, Florida, has worked the last year to complete resilience planning for local structures that are at risk of flooding. This project was funded by a NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant. For the full press release, please click here.

GCOOS announces Executive Director's retirement
GCOOS recently announced the retirement of Executive Director, Dr. Barb Kirkpatrick. Dr. Kirkpatrick has served as the Executive Director for GCOOS since 2014 and has been a dedicated GOMA partner. GOMA wishes Barb the best! For the full announcement, click here.
2021 Virtual Events
Selected virtual events include:

TPWD Texas Water Webinars: Harmful Algae Blooms
March 9th, 2021

GOMA Wildlife and Fisheries Team Mid Year Meeting
March 10th, 2021

Paddle the Gulf: Whiskey George Creek
March 20th, 2021

Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Meeting
March 24th-27th, 2021

GOMA Gulf of Mexico Conference (GoMCon) Virtual Preview
April 14, 2021

Find these and other virtual activities on our events page.
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January 2021