Gulf of Mexico Alliance  
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf   



Several Gulf of Mexico Alliance Teams and the Monitoring Community of Practice (MCoP) are holding Mid-Year Meetings January 15-17, 2020 in Mobile, Alabama.

In addition to the MCoP, teams meetings include Habitat Resources, Water Resources, Data and Monitoring, Wildlife and Fisheries, Education and Engagement. The Water Resources and Education and Engagement Teams are planning a joint session on the science and communication of harmful algal blooms.

Draft agendas are posted on the Mid-Year Meeting web page. Meeting attendance is free. The deadline to reserve hotel accommodations is December 20, 2019. Make your reservations at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel with a government rate room or a non-government rate room.

Coastal Resilience Team Annual Fall Meeting

The Coastal Resilience Team's annual Fall Meeting is December 11-12, 2019 in Gulfport, Mississippi at the Centennial Plaza.

Complete meeting information is available on the Team's page. Please register because we need to know you're coming, but there is no registration fee.

 

Update: Gulf Star Water Watch Programs 

The Water Resources Team has recently supported the expansion of citizen science programs in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. All three projects are part of the Gulf Star program and partially funded by the Hess Corporation. All three programs are focused on water quality and marine debris monitoring, data collection, and analysis.
 

Submit Today: Embrace the Gulf Photo Competition    

 
The Education and Engagement Team invites you to participate in an Embrace the Gulf photo competition. We need photographs that relate to any of our five campaign themes: community, environment, education, economy, and tourism.  
 
Think positive and show us that! We want to embrace all the good things about the Gulf of Mexico. The deadline is December 6, 2019. 
 
Enter the photo competition.
 
Consider the Alliance on #GIVINGTUESDAY 

This holiday season, consider the Gulf of Mexico Alliance in your year end giving. The Alliance is joining organizations around the country for #GivingTuesday on December 3, 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement where millions of people come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live - like ours, the Gulf of Mexico.  
 
 
Restoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council)  
In October, the Council solicited two project proposals for funding under Bucket 2 in the first phase of the Council's Funded Priority List 3 (FPL 3a). Louisiana submitted, "River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp." Alabama submitted, "Perdido River Land Conservation and Habitat Enhancements Project." Public comment and review is scheduled for December 9, 2019 through January 10, 2020. Complete information on RESTORE Council activity is available on RestoreTheGulf.gov
 
U.S. Department of Treasury (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 - In October, the Treasury approved the state's proposal for the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is the designated recipient with an initial award for five years. The State has a website of restoration information on Alabama Coastal Restoration.
 
Mississippi - This month, Governor Bryant announced 15 restoration projects, totaling $53 million at the annual Mississippi Restoration Summit. Projects are funded through the RESTORE Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
 
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) released the Multiyear Implementation Plan Amendment for public review and comment. MDEQ also issued two Invitation for Bids on the Round Island Intertidal Circulation Enhancement and the Oyster Restoration & Management Phase I. Visit the Office of Restoration web page for announcements, procurement opportunities, project updates, and more.
 
Louisiana - In October, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) began accepting project ideas for consideration in the next Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The deadline is February 14, 2020. The CPRA manages restoration activities for the state in conjunction with the State's Master Plan. All restoration information is 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) - RFP III.5 letters of intent are due December 11, 2019

Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence ( MBRACE)
Texas OneGulf
Texas Subsea Systems Institute

NOAA RESTORE Science Program - Current information on funded programs is available through the RESTORE Science Program website.  

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - Find program information on their website.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -  The Deepwater Horizone NRDA Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) announcements this month are: 
  • The Louisiana TIG is taking comments on a Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3. They will host a webinar on December 2 to present the plan and take written comments. The TIG also announced the kick off for restoration of Queen Bess Island's critical Brown Pelican habitat.
  • The Mississippi TIG reported the Grand Bay Land Acquisition and Habitat Management project are benefiting the local wildlife refuge and estuarine research reserve. The project includes habitat acquisition, management, and restoration.
  • The Open Ocean TIG is holding their annual public meeting via interactive webinar on December 12, 2019.
  • The Texas TIG is holding their annual public meeting via a video presentation on December 4, 2019.
Comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on  www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov
 
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) - On November 12th, NFWF announced the approval of nearly $109 million for new Gulf Coast restoration projects. This is the seventh round of grants issued from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Twenty new projects were announced for Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. For information on NFWF supported projects, go to their website.  

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - U.S. Standard Grants, Cycle 1, deadline is February 21, 2020.  Information for this program is available on the NAWCA website.

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) - The 2020 GoMOSES Conference is scheduled for February 3-6, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. 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.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Development of Data and a Decision Support Tool for the Northern Gulf Sediment Availability and Allocation Program (NGSAAP) - The GOMA Habitat Resources Team, with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Division, is available to develop a decision support tool to link coastal restoration projects with cost-efficient sediment sources. Download the application. The deadline to apply is December 6, 2019.

EPA Approaches to Reduce Nutrient Loadings for Harmful Algal Blooms Management - Applications should propose research to: (1) determine the effectiveness of existing nutrient treatment technologies; (2) evaluate the scale-up of emerging nutrient treatment technologies and develop new technologies; and (3) develop best management practices to help both rural and urban communities control nutrients in their watersheds. The deadline is December 10, 2019.

USDA SWMFY2020 Solid Waste Management Grant Program - This program has been established to assist communities through free technical assistance and/or training provided by the grant recipients. Qualified organizations will receive SWM grant funds to reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas. Search grants.gov for SWMFY2020. The deadline is December 31, 2019.

EPA Environmental Education Grant - The purpose of the Environmental Education Local Grants Program is to support locally-focused environmental education projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental and conservation issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. The deadline is January 6, 2020.

NOAA NMFS FY2020 Community-based Restoration Program Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Grants - Projects should support habitat restoration projects that use an ecosystem-based approach to foster species recovery and increase populations under NOAA's jurisdiction.Preprosals are due January 8, 2020 and full proposals are due April 9, 2020.

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:
  • Texas NRDA TIG Online Meeting
    December 4, 2019
  • GOMA Coastal Resilience Team Fall Meeting
    December 11-12, 2019, Gulfport, MS
  • NRDA Open Ocean TIG Annual Meeting Webinar
    December 12, 2019
  • Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Community of Practice
    January 15, 2019, Mobile, AL
  • GOMA Mid-Year Meetings
    January 15-17, 2019, Mobile, AL
  • Galveston Bay: 11th State of the Bay Symposium
    January 29, 2020, Galveston, TX
  • GOMA Wednesday Webinar: Ecosystem Services Indicators for Community Resilience
    January 29, 2020
  • Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
    February 3-6, Tampa, FL
  • 2020 Florida Coastal Mapping Summit
    March 31, 2020, St. Petersburg, FL
The countdown is on to Embrace the Gulf 2020!
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Comment Periods

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

NOAA Fisheries has a request for comments on: Proposed Designation of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern and Associated Fishing Regulations in Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters. Comments on this proposed rule are due by December 16, 2019.

The Louisiana NRDA TIG is accepting comments on the "Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3 Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve." The deadline to submit comments is December 20, 2019.

The RESTORE Council will take comments on the FPL 3a Proposals between December 9, 2019 and January 10, 2020.

The MDEQ released the 2019 Mississippi State Expenditure Plan Amendment. It is available for public comment through January 17, 2020.

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 pertinent fishery management issues.

Tips for Effective Comments
EPA specific though relevant to providing effective feedback.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
1151 Robinson Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
  www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org 
For newsletter submissions contact Lee.Yokel@gomxa.org
November 2019

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