Gulf of Mexico Alliance  
Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf   

2019 Regional Ocean Partnership Act Introduced  

Mississippi Senator Rodger Wicker introduced the Regional Ocean Partnership Act, July 18, 2019. The Act, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, will authorize Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) to address cross-jurisdictional ocean and coastal issues. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) would welcome a secure and predictable method to accomplish collaborative regional-scale programs.

Read more about S.2166.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Receives EPA Grant to Improve
Access to Sediment Resource Information

On July 22, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) a $297,816 grant to improve coastal resilience in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The goal of this project is to increase community resilience by expanding stakeholder access to information on regional sediment resources for use in the creation or restoration of habitat.

Read more.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Grant Helps to Improve Stormwater Drainage in Covington, Louisiana

The City of Covington, Louisiana, increased its drainage system maintenance to existing development to reduce flood losses. The work is intended to improve their Community Rating System (CRS) scores and is part of a small grant from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The project team consisted of representatives from the City of Covington, University of New Orleans, and Louisiana Sea Grant. The Team developed two videos to increase the public's understanding of the community's drainage system: one for public education and outreach and the second for internal training purposes.

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Resources

Gulf Regional Sediment Master Plan
Technical Framework (GRSMMP)    

The Alliance Habitat Resources Team completed the GRSMMP in 2009 and much of it is relevant today.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management
The Skimmer is a monthly information service on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management. It is produced by the nonprofit OCTO (Open Communications for the Ocean) in association with the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.  

ELI NRDA Fact Sheets
The Environmental Law Institute Gulf Team updated the seven NRDA Trustee Implementation Group fact sheets: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Open Ocean, and Region-wide. 

Sea Grant Videos 
The Sea Grant in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill outreach team posted a series of videos on the impacts of oil spills on estuaries.

Video - Heartland to Gulf
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment published this Farmers Helping Fisheries video about how land grant universities in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin states are working alongside the Hypoxia Task Force to address Gulf hypoxia.

Restoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council)  
This month, the Council Executive Director recommended the Council Chair approve Florida's State Expenditure Plan Amendment #1. Also, they opened a public comment period for the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program's restoration program of Twelve Mile Creek, Alabama.  
 
A comment period on the Council's draft Planning Framework closed in June. Members and staff are reviewing comments and will finalize the document in August 2019. This final document will guide the Council in project selection from the next round of "bucket 2" grants. 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 - The State has an updated website Alabama Coastal Restoration that includes a map of all funded projects. 
 
Mississippi - In June, the state's Multiyear Implementation Plan Amendment #3 was accepted by the Treasury.  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. All restoration information is available on the CPRA website.

Texas - State Council appointee, Toby Baker, TCEQ Executive Director, will host two public meetings in September. The meetings will receive comments on potential projects related to the upcoming RESTORE Council "bucket 2" grant round. 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) - Open RFP, see below.
Texas OneGulf
Texas Subsea Systems Institute

NOAA RESTORE Science Program - On August 14th as part of an OneNOAA Science Seminar, results of a 2015 funded program "Connectivity Processes in the Gulf of Mexico Due to Ocean Circulation: Impact on Coastal Ecosystems and Their Management," will be shared. Current information on this project and other funded programs are available through the RESTORE Science Program website.  

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program - There are three fellowship opportunities open. Find these and other program information on their website.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -  The Deepwater Horizon Trustees held an annual public meeting on June 5-6, 2019. Outreach materials from the meeting are now available. The Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) announcements this month are: 
  • The Louisiana TIG initiated development of the Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #5. A focal intent is to address oysters and marine mammals. On the 19th, the TIG finalized the Supplemental Plan for the Lake Charles Science center.
     
  • The Mississippi TIG released the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2019 Draft Supplemental Plan: Grand Bay Land Acquisition and Habitat Management. The public comments on this are due July 31, 2019. 
     
  • The Open Ocean TIG announced on July 1st they will implement two monitoring and adaptive management activities related to the Gulf Sturgeon. Projects will inform population status and trends and, Gulf-wide juvenile population dynamics and habitat use.
     
  • The Open Ocean TIG reopened the comment period for Draft Restoration Plan 2; the new deadline is August 2, 2019.
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) - Canadian Standard Grants close on August, 23, 2019. 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.

NFWF ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Request for Proposals - The purpose of this funding is to restore grassland, wetland, sage-steppe, and coastal habitats for birds; protect key habitats for birds; and provide technical assistance to improve bird habitat conservation practices on working lands, with an emphasis in focal geographies. The deadline is August 12, 2019.

Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) Request for Proposals - There are two tracks: (1) Competitive Research Program, and (2) Core Research Program. The deadline is August 15, 2019.

USDA NRCS Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program - Pilot projects will consist broadly of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine removal by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control provided through partnership agreements with non-federal partners. The deadline is August 19, 2019.
 
NOAA Marine Debris Program FY2020 Removal Grant -- Proposals should address community-based marine debris removal that benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and wildlife. Letters of intent are due September 4, 2019 and full proposals are due December 4, 2019.  
 
General Motors Giving Back - Requests for grant funding related to three areas: STEM education, road safety, and sustainable communities, are due September 30, 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:
  • GOMA Wednesday Webinar - Embrace the Gulf
    July 31, 2019
  • Sea Grant Seminar/Webinar - Using the underdogs of the animal world to gain insights into impacts, recovery, and restoration after oil spills
    August 13, 2019, Lacombe, LA
  • NOAA RESTORE Webinar - Connectivity Processes in the Gulf of Mexico Due to Ocean Circulation
    August 14, 2019 
  • Texas RESTORE Act Related #1 Public Meeting
    September 9, 2019, Galveston, TX
  • Texas RESTORE Act Related #2 Public Meeting
    September 10, 2019, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Gulf Coast Land Conservation Conference
    September 9-11, 2019, Point Clear, AL
  • National Estuaries Week
    September 14-21, 2019
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Comment Periods

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

The NRDA Mississippi TIG is seeking comments on the Draft Supplemental Plan for Grand Bay. Comments are due July 31, 2019.

NRDA Open Ocean Trustees reopened the comment period for the Draft Restoration Plan 2. The new deadline for comments is August 2, 2019.

US Army Corps of Engineers seek comments on Proposed Mitigation Rule Amendment Rulemaking. Submit comments to MitigationRuleAmendment@usace.army.mil and copy MitigationRuleStates@epa.gov. The comment period concludes August 9, 2019.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is developing their next five-year strategic plan. They are accepting comments through August 16, 2019.

NOAA is seeking input on future priorities for the next Research and Development Plan. The deadline to submit comments is August 26, 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.

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
July 2019

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