Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
 
e-Newsletter July 2018 
Re-launch of GOMA Portal

 
The GOMAportal.org is a metadata catalog, and data repository for Gulf of Mexico related geospatial datasets housed at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI). The portal was developed initially by the former GOMA Ecosystem Integration and Assessment (EIA) Team. GOMAportal.org holds the results of a multi-year project to improve the state metadata for geospatial datasets for the Gulf of Mexico. The system contains metadata and data that may not be found in other standard repositories.
 
Orignally lead by EIA Team members at HRI, state partners collected geospatial datasets and metadata records and upgraded them to be compliant with the Federal Geospatial Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) standard, preserving as much of the original character of the metadata as possible. Where possible, the original datasets were also obtained and renamed to have meaningful file names. Finally, available data was packaged with the upgraded metadata, and made available for download.
 
The portal became an action priority for the Data and Monitoring Team; an outgrowth of the EIA Team. A 2017 Gulf Star grant to HRI updated and revamped the tool. It is possible to search and browse the information through an interactive Esri ArcGIS interface. Where available, datasets can be downloaded. Individuals and organizations that want to contribute to GOMAportal can register for a free account.  
 
Go to the GOMAportal.
Light Reading for the Dog Days of Summer

Managing Invasive Plants
A residents' guide produced by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program.   
 
State of Sea Grant 2018 Biennial Report to Congress
A Congress mandated report that reviews 2016-2017 accomplishments by the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.  
   
Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan
A comprehensive planning with recommendations for a more resilient Texas coast developed by the Texas General Land Office.  

Embrace the Gulf

If you attended All Hands this year, you heard a lot about this developing campaign for the Gulf of Mexico. We are now seeking support to implement our marketing plan. Learn more about sponsoring or partnering to Embrace the Gulf in 2020.  
 
Restoration

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


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) On July 10th, the RESTORE Council's Executive Director made a recommendation to the Council Chair to approve the Alabama Planning State Expenditure Plan. If approved, $339,775 will support planning for the State Expenditure Plan. Complete information on these and other projects 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 - In July, Triumph Gulf Coast agreed to support $64.5 million for the expansion of the region's aerospace and aviation infrastructure. Funding supports overhaul and expansion of the Pensacola International Airport and the Whiting Aviation Park in Santa Rosa County. Triumph also approved term sheets and contracts for projects in Okallosa, Wakulla, and Bay counties.
 
The   Gulf Consortium  and  Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintain websites of related restoration information. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Triumph activity can be found  here.    
 
Alabama - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) is pleased to announce the adoption of the final Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP). It was submitted to Treasury for a 60-90 day review. Proposed projects in the MIP are estimated to be $192,416,759 and addess economic damage as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For all AGCRC activity visit their website. 
 
Mississippi - Restoration in Mississippi is led by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Visit the Office of Restoration web page for announcements, procurement opportunities, project updates, and more.
 
Louisiana - The State of Louisiana is represented by the CPRA on state and RESTORE Council activities. Restoration activities are conducted in conjunction with the State's Master Plan. C oastal Louisiana restoration updates are available on the CPRA website.

Texas - This month, the Texas Council on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) opened a public comment period for the Draft Texas State Expenditure Plan (SEP). This SEP will focus on hurricane recovery efforts, ecological and economic, as well as resilience-related programs. This SEP is programmatic in nature to expedite securing RESTORE funds. The public comment period ends August 27th. Deepwater Horizon related Texas restoration activities can be found on 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 - Information related to this program can be found on their dedicated website. 

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program
This month NAS Gulf Research Program opened their Thriving Communities Grants 5 funding competition. See below for details. NAS also announced a partnership with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program to convene a series of workshops aimed at improving community preparedness for oil spills. Learn more about these and other programs.  

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)  The Trustee Council held their annual public meeting in Long Beach, Mississippi. The Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) announcements this month include:
  • The Louisiana TIG began the process of drafting the second planning phase for evaluation of construction of projects identified for engineering and design in the Final Restoration Plan #1: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; and Birds. A public comment period will follow.  
  • The Louisiana TIG released the Final Restoration Plan #2 to restore lost recreational opportunities, and the Final Restoration Plan #4 also for recreational use, and nutrient reduction.

All Trustee activities and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.   

 

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) - This month NFWF announced several funding opportunities. A complete list of the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund projects and open Requests for Proposals can be found on their website.   

North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) - This announcement and other pertinent information is available on the NAWCA website.

 
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
- The 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) is planned for February 4 - 7, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, LA. The 2018 Conference summary information is available in the Conference Report. Get comprehensive information on GoMRI research at gulfresearchinitiative.org. 

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Funding

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance maintains a Funding Opportunities web page of current opportunities. Below are selected opportunities from that page.
 
Restore America's Estuaries CITGO Gulf Region Grant - These grants are intended to provide groups with funding to host new events, or to increase the impact of existing events, in celebration of National Estuaries Week. The deadline is August 3, 2018.
 
NFWF/NOAA National Coastal Resilience Fund 2018 Request for Proposals - Proposals should support investments to advance identified priorities for restoring and strengthening natural systems so they can protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms and floods and enable them to recover more quickly, while also enhancing habitats for important fish and wildlife populations. The deadline is August 7, 2018.
 
Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (NRDA MS TIG) Public Project Ideas - The MS TIG is beginning the process of restoration planning for the 2018-2019 planning years and would like input regarding natural resource restoration project ideas in Mississippi. Information about the restoration types they are considering, as well as the Oil Pollution Act criteria against which project ideas will be evaluated, can be found in the Trustees' Programmatic Restoration Plan. The deadline is August 10, 2018.
 
NRDA Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) Restoration Project Submission - The deadline to submit a project idea is August 12, 2018 
 
EPA FY2018 and FY2019 Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program - This program supports projects that reduce resource use, expenditures, waste and liability costs. One or more of these techniques can be employed: research, investigation, experiments, education, training, studies and/or demonstration techniques. Search grants.gov for EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-002. The deadline is August 23, 2018.
 
NAS Gulf Research Program Thriving Communities 5 - Applications should demonstrate approaches that will advance information exchange between resilience researchers and those that seek to implement policies and practices to enhance the resilience and well-being of their communities. The required letter of intent is due September 19, 2018 and full proposals are due November 28, 2018.
 
Science and Restoration  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 future events:
  • Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation
    September 12-14, 2018
  • GOMA Wednesday Webinar - HABS Detection
    September 26, 2018
  • Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous November 28-29, 2018
  • GOMA Coastal Resilience Team Mid-Year Meeting
    December 11-13, 2018
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Comment Periods

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

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is requesting public input on the " Potential Impacts to Historic Priorities: Sand Resource Assessment and Borrow Area Identification, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf". The deadline is August 13, 2018.

The EPA is seeking comment on the proposed rule " Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science". The deadline to comment is August 16, 2018.
 
The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is taking comments on the proposed rule, "Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Electronic Reporting for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels and Headboats in Gulf of Mexico Fisheries". The proposed rule would require for-hire vessels to submit electronic reports for each trip for reef and coastal migratory pelagic fish. The deadline to comment is August 20, 2018.

NOAA NMFS is taking comments on the proposed rule, "Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico." Comments are due August 21, 2018.

The Texas TCEQ is requesting public comment on the Texas State Expenditure Plan (SEP) - RESTORE Bucket 3. Comments are due August 27, 2018.

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 | 228-215-1246 | www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org 
For newsletter submissions contact Lee.Yokel@gomxa.org
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