Gulf of Mexico Alliance 
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf   

We Are Here.

From the beginning, organizers designed the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to be a regional organization. So, in essence, we've been working remotely for 16 years now.  The only difference is that the few of us that work in the Headquarters Office are currently working from our homes.  Aside from occasional interruptions from kids, nothing has changed for us.  Please reach out to us - we are here to help our partners and Teams accomplish things remotely.  Hopefully, this won't last long and we'll be able to see each other in person this summer!

All Hands 2020

The call for  Tools  Cafe' demonstrations is open. For a fifth year, our Data and Monitoring Team is coordinating this popular event. It will be Wednesday evening, June 24, 2020.  Submissions are requested from any partner interested in sharing their online or paper-based  tool (s) and are due via email to  Dave.Reed@MyFWC.com  by COB on Thursday, April 30, 2020.
 

While we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation, the All Hands planning is well underway. We are excited about our developing agenda for this summer's meeting. Draft Team agendas will be posted soon. To coincide with the   Tools  Cafe', we are planning a little something extra to Embrace the Gulf. Be sure to include this celebration in your plans. The evening is sponsored by Esri.
 
Access All Hands information.
 

Xylem YSI

For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities contact Becky Ginn.
Community Actions Board: A Process to Develop Resilience

As part of an NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant award, GOMA envisioned a Resilience Roadmap to assist communities with finding a pathway to move forward on priority actions that could enhance their resilience. As grant work progressed,  it became clear that the steps or "process" of implementing projects to increase resilience should be the main focus of Roadmap. Thus, GOMA created the Community Actions Board.  

The actual "game board" is printed on a laminated 26" x 17" wipe-off board. It introduces communities to foundational tools tested by other communities. It gives them space to capture their ideas and brainstorm solutions. This wipe-off board contains an area to organize resilience discussions and turn them into tangible steps towards action.  

Shout Out this month to Plastic Free Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program

The shout out this month goes to Plastic Free Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program. They are creative partners in our Marine Debris Cross-Team Initiative.
 
We are shining the spotlight on their entry of the "Cleanup Krewe" float in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade. They constructed the float out of common marine debris found around our local communities. The "krewe" members walked with the float, collecting trash from parade attendees and picking up throws left behind on the parade route. A trailer bed held the bags of trash collected.
 
The "krewe" collected 3 TONS of debris from the parade route (debris that would have been left in the roads overnight and crushed by cars or blown by the wind). Great job!
 
 
New Training: Adapting to a Changing Gulf Region

The Alliance's Conservation, Restoration & Resilience Planning Cross-Team Initiative is working to develop, and begin implementing, a strategy for how to achieve a Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan (GCARP). The Initiative decided to commission the development of an online training curriculum. 
 
The purpose is to support Gulf Coast managers and stakeholders in a program titled Adapting to a Changing Gulf Region. The syllabus and online training materials are currently under development and will be shared on the Alliance's website when available. 
 
GCARP is a Gulf Star project funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Contact Lily Swanbrow Becker for more information.  

Embrace the Gulf

This one meme reached nearly 18,000 people. In February alone, we've increased our social connections by 48%. People are responding to the campaign and sharing our messages. We are so excited to see everyone value the Gulf of Mexico the same way we do.

We couldn't do this without you or our sponsor, the Clean Gulf Associates.



Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Stuck at Home Educational Resources

The Alliance's Education and Engagement Team is working to support families as they transition into home-based learning. The "Stuck at Home" resource is an informal compilation of online materials for K-12 as well as all ages.  

Organizations around the region are working to provide engaging and informative content via websites, YouTube, and other social media. The google sheet is available for viewing or download via the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  

Restoration

To support our varied partner network, we are sharing Deepwater Horizon-related restoration updates on the restoration page of our website. It is updated with recent announcements.

Recent restoration updates are available for: 
  • DWH Project Tracker - Fresh Look
  • NRDA Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (TIG)
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
  • NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Alabama and Florida

Webinars

In the wake of the COVID-19 response, many events are postponed or cancelled. In lieu of these, we are sharing webinars and virtual sessions. Please email us with items you think are of value to our partners.

Mark your calendars for our next bi-monthly Wednesday Webinars.
  • May 27 - Stakeholder Resources for Living Shorelines
  • July 29 - Economic Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms
  • September 30 - New Tools For Data Sharing
  • November 18 - Diamondback Terrapin Conservation Plan

Funding Opportunities

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The Gulf of Mexico Alliance maintains a Funding Opportunities web page of programs. Below are our selected opportunities this month.

NOAA NMFS 2020 BREP Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Grants The mission of BREP is to support the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch of fish and protected species (including Endangered Species Act-listed fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles) and to reduce impacts to invertebrates (including sponges, deep-sea corals, and shallow (tropical) corals.) The deadline is April 2, 2020 .
 
Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) Educator Grants
These grants support projects based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and are designed to directly impact Louisiana students. All accredited K-12 Louisiana schools are eligible. The maximum award is $2,500. The deadline is April 6, 2020.

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, 2020.

Comment Periods

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Draft Phase II Restoration Plan #3.3: Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is considering design alternatives for the Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component project. The preferred design alternative, included in a draft restoration plan now open for public comment for 30 days until April 20, 2020, would create 1,207 acres of intertidal marsh in Upper Barataria Bay. The trustees will hold a public webinar to present the plan on April 2, 2020.
 
Draft Restoration Plan #5: Living Coastal and Marine Resources - Marine Mammals and Oysters
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is considering several restoration projects to restore for injuries to marine mammals and oysters. Those projects are included in a draft restoration plan now open for public comment for 30 days through April 20, 2020. The trustees are also holding a public webinar on the plan on April 8.
 
Regional Conservation Partnership Program Rule
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. It helps partners develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Comments are due by April 13, 2020.

USDA Seeks Public Comment on More Revised Conservation Practice Standards
The NRCS is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to 49 national conservation practice standards through a posting in the Federal Register. The deadline to comment is April 23, 2020.


1151 Robinson Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
  www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org 
For newsletter submissions contact Lee.Yokel@gomxa.org
March 2020

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