Gulf of Mexico Alliance  
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf   

GOMA Welcomes Chevron to the Gulf Star Program

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) has welcomed Chevron USA, Inc. into their Gulf Star program. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is one of the leading leaseholders in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The company strives to build lasting relationships with communities in which it operates. Given the depth of expertise Chevron has with the region, they are an ideal partner to support the Alliance's benthic habitat mapping project as a Gulf Star partner.



GOMA + ESRI = All Hands Tools Cafe' 

Tools CafĂ© Sponsor:  ESRI
Here at Alliance Headquarters, we are excited to announce our new All Hands sponsor, ESRI! The GIS mapping giant is supporting our Tools Cafe'. It is all the more reason to turn in those last minute applications to demonstrate your paper-based or online tool. This is one of our favorite events and you don't want to miss it.

ESRI Workshop Announcement: 
In addition to the Tools Cafe', ESRI will host a GIS workshop on Monday. All GOMA All Hands attendees are welcome to attend! 

Stay up to date with additions to the other activities by going to the All Hands webpage.

 
 2019 All Hands Sponsored By  
 



Embrace the Gulf 2020

As part of the Embrace the Gulf awareness campaign, resolutions are working their way through state legislatures, proclaiming 2020 as the year to "Embrace the Gulf."  We are pleased to report resolutions passed in the Alabama and Mississippi Houses; the Texas resolution is currently going through committee.

#EmbraceTheGulf

Alliance and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Complete Formal Agreement

The Alliance and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) renewed their regional collaboration. On April 4, the two Gulf-wide organizations formalized a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the continuance of this long-standing partnership.

Marsh Mania

The Alliance Executive Director, Laura Bowie, and Development Director, Becky Ginn, got their feet a little wet helping at Marsh Mania in Galveston, Texas. The Galveston Bay Foundation had its 21st anniversary restoring vital coastal habitat.

The goal of Marsh Mania is to involve local citizens in hands-on wetlands restoration activities while increasing their awareness and appreciation of wetland habitats and functions. The Alliance joined more than 160 volunteers planting smooth cordgrass alongside Alliance Gulf Star partner, Hess Corporation. 


CERF

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) is holding their 25th annual meeting this year on the Gulf coast in Mobile, Alabama. This year the conference is focusing on connecting science and society in the collective goals of preserving coastal and estuarine habitats, resources, and heritage.

The conference organizers are looking for abstracts that, in addition to traditional science, also focus on education, management, and cultural heritage. Abstracts are due May 1, 2019. This is a nice opportunity to showcase Gulf coast research and applied science.

  Read more.

GoMRI Synthesis

It is hard to believe the Gulf is approaching 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was established with the stated goal to improve society's understanding of, response to, and mitigation of petroleum pollution and related stressors to marine and coastal ecosystems.

Now, as GoMRI approaches the conclusion of a $500 million ten-year investment, the Research Board is working to develop a comprehensive scientific synthesis of what they've learned. Information will center around five key questions:
  • What was the state of the science (baseline) before Deepwater Horizon? 
  • What have we learned?
  • What major gaps in knowledge still exist?
  • How can we best apply what we've learned to make a difference?
  • Where do we go from here?
The synthesis effort is driven by the best available science and will include knowledge exchange with the user community, including oil spill responders, NGOs,
restoration efforts, and other stakeholders. They intend to transfer knowledge gained to
other geographic locations and scenarios.

A series of workshops and webinars are planned for May, June, July, and October this year. Get the schedule and participation information here.

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Resources

OceanReports
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in collaboration with NOAA, released this new online tool. OceanReports is a web-based application that provides custom spatial analysis on wide-ranging ocean information.

Gulf Fishery News
This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. For recent newsletters, archives, and to send submissions, find it all on their website.
Restoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council)  
This April, the RESTORE Council opened a public review and comment period for the Planning Framework draft. Public meetings are scheduled around the coast through May. The Council also approved the Alabama State Expenditure Plan. See details below. 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.
 
Alabama - On April 11th, Governor Ivey announced that the State Expenditure Plan for Gulf Coast Recovery was approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. The plan proposes 28 activities focusing on primarily water quality, park and public facility improvements, and environmental restoration for a total estimated cost of $132,355,952. The next step is individual grant applications must be submitted to the Federal Restore Council. The State has an updated website Alabama Coastal Restoration that includes a map of all funded projects. 
 
Mississippi - A request for qualifications is open for environmental support services.  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. This month, CPRA announced seven major coastal restoration projects were completed and paid for via oil spill settlement funds. Projects included marsh creation, barrier island restoration, and shoreline protection. Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.

Texas - For 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 - This program has a project explorer page that allows interested parties to learn more about funded projects. Current information on this program is available through the RESTORE Science Program website.  

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - The program released a new report this month on Building and Measuring Community Resilience. Fellowship opportunities for early-career researchers and science policy are open. The program maintains active Facebook and Twitter pages.  Learn more about these and other program activities.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -  The Deepwater Horizon Trustees are planning in May to release annual reports. They will hold an annual public meeting on June 6th and an outreach and education workshop on June 5th. Both are in Pensacola, Florida. The Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) announcements this month are:
  • The Florida TIG initiated drafting of the third phase to the Florida Coastal Access Project. It addresses loss of recreational use in Florida. Once the draft is complete, it will be made available for public comment.
  • The Louisiana TIG proposed changes to the Lake Charles Science Center project. If approved, the project site would be updated to co-locate with a planned Lake Charles Children's Museum at the planned Port Wonder Facility. Comments are solicited through May 20th and a public meeting will be held in Lake Charles on May 8th. 
Comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on  www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.   
 
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) - On April 19th, NFWF announced the award of $2.3 million to the Galveston Bay Foundation in Texas to protect, restore, and create marsh habitat in the Dollar Bay/Moses Lake complex of Galveston Bay.  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) - Comprehensive GoMRI information is on gulfresearchinitiative.org. 

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Funding

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

NOAA Advanced Aquaculture Collaborative Programs - Funding will support collaborative program to build the capacity of Sea Grant and partners to advance the foundation of knowledge and activity of aquaculture. The deadline is May 15, 2019.

USDA NRCS Mississippi Longleaf Pine Initiative - This is the second signup opportunity for Mississippi private landowners to who want to create or restore longleaf pine stands on their land. The deadline is May 17, 2019.

NFWF National Coastal Resilience Fund 2019 Request for Proposals - The program seeks to to create, expand, and restore natural systems in areas that will both increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea- and lake-level changes, inundation, and coastal erosion while also improving valuable habitats for fish and wildlife species. Pre-proposals are due May 20, 2019.

NGOMSSC Northern Gulf of Mexico Resilience to Future Flooding Request for Project Ideas - This request is for coastal northern Gulf communities interested in increasing their resilience to sea-level rise and future flooding. Interested communities should submit a project idea that focuses on becoming more resilient to sea-level rise, future flooding, and related hazards. Information on these hazards in the northern Gulf and examples of what other Gulf communities have done are available on the 'Resilience to Future Flooding' page at www.ngomssc.org. The deadline is May 24, 2019.

NAS Gulf Research Program Healthy Ecosystems Grant 4 - The progam will provide up to $5 million in grants to support  research projects that will improve understanding of how coastal ecosystems in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region are affected by or interact with natural processes and human activities for the purpose of informing natural resource decision-making and management practices. A letter of intent is due May 22, 2019 and full proposals are due July 24, 2019.
   
NOAA RESTORE Science Program 2019-2021 Funding Calendar 
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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:
  • Mississippi State of the Coast
    May 6, 2019, Biloxi, MS
  • Louisiana TIG Public Meeting
    May 6, 2019, Lake Charles, LA
  • Public Meeting: RESTORE Council Planning Framework
    May 6, 2019, New Orleans, LA 
  • Public Meeting: RESTORE Council Planning Framework
    May 7, 2019, Tallahassee, FL
  • Hypoxia Task Force Public Meeting & Webcast
    May 15-16, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Public Meeting: RESTORE Council Planning Framework
    May 22, 2019, Long Beach, MS
  • Public Meeting: RESTORE Council Planning Framework
    May 30, 2019, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Capitol Hill Ocean Week
    June 4-6, Washington, D.C.
  • Gulf Spill Restoration Outreach and Education Workshop
    June 5, 2019, Pensacola, FL
  • Public Meeting: NRDA Trustees Annual Meeting
    June 6, 2019, Pensacola, FL
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands
    June 10-13, 2019, Gulf Shores, AL
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Comment Periods

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

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is asking for information on Gray Triggerfish. Answer their questionnaire by May 10th, 2019.

The NRDA Louisiana TIG is soliciting comments on proposed changes to the Lake Charles Science Center Project. The deadline is May 20, 2019.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is seeking public review and comment on the Planning Frame draft. Public comments are due June 12, 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
April 2019

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