Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
e-Newsletter September 2017  
T his month's newsletter is a special hurricane edition. Please go directly to our website for current restoration updates, funding opportunities, events, and hurricane resources
Nature. Structure. Society. Economy. 
The building blocks of coastal resilience. 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance works across the region addressing issues of human, economic, and ecological resilience.  In this special issue, we share success stories from our partners.  In no way do we want to diminish the long recovery ahead following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  But, however small they may be, we want to highlight the things that worked.

Credit NPS
Natural Resilience
Dunes provide natural protection

Dunes provide natural protection from erosion and storm surge that comes with damaging weather systems. They absorb the impact of high waves delaying or preventing inland flooding. During Hurricane Harvey, the dune system in Nueces County stood strong against 120-130 mph wind and crippling waves. Scott Cross, Nueces County Coastal Parks System, noted that the dune system did its job well.

Built Resilience
Preliminary results indicate building codes play large role in resilience

On August 16, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall as a category 5 hurricane in Homestead, Florida. The devastation was unsurpassed by any storm to that date. As a result, the State of Florida began to develop and enforce stricter building standards. Hurricane Irma tested these requirements earlier this month. As Florida homeowners assess the damage, a pattern is emerging:  homes built to the post-Andrew codes seemed to have fared far better.

Credit: Morman Helping Hands Newsroom
Social Resilience
Volunteers play central role in hurricane recovery

When major hurricanes and devastating floods strike, volunteers are a key component of relief and recovery efforts. They provide immediate manpower to serve meals, remove debris, return power, and other critical essentials to return to normalcy. Founded in 1970, the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) provides a forum for cooperation, communication, and coordination for the effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. VOAD members include those we all know, like Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, and many we may not. Currently, VOAD members have their hands full as they are responding to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Read more about unique volunteer efforts including pet support, bass boat rescues, laundry services, and more.

Economic Resilience
Gulf ports show coordinated response to recovery efforts

The State of Florida has 15 public seaports that play a critical role in the State's economy and lives of its citizens. There are seven Gulf of Mexico ports. Florida depends on its major ports to deliver the bulk of the motor fuels consumed each day. One of the huge impacts to the State in preparation for Hurricane Irma was the evacuation of millions of residents. The demand this put on the petroleum industry left large areas of the State without gas and created huge lines of evacuees waiting to get much-needed fuel. Tim Osborn, Navigation Manager for NOAA's Office of Coastal Survey, was aboard the ATB Courage when it delivered 125,000 barrels of gasoline and 50,000 barrels of diesel fuel to the State of Florida on September 14th.  
Read more about the coordinated response.
Hurricane Mini-Grants 

Supported by private and public funds, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is offering small grants ($5,000-$10,000) to selected applicants that were affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida.  Qualified applicants are non-traditional audiences who do not qualify for the larger Federal assistance.  It does not include state or Federal agencies, individuals, universities, or non-profits that receive operational or disaster funding assistance from a parent organization.  Examples of qualified applicants may include neighborhood associations, school organizations, churches, museums, zoos/wildlife centers, etc.  A simple 2-page application is all that is required.
The Alliance is looking for additional partners to fund this program.  Increased financial support allows us to help more applicants. If you would like to participate, contact GOMA headquarters.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance | 228-215-1246 | 
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