Gulf of Mexico Foundation
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ABOUT US > HISTORY

Gulf of Mexico Foundation
History

 1990 
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF) is incorporated.

 1991 
A volunteer Executive Director is retained.

 1992 
The GMF actively supports obtaining the official designation of the Flower Garden Banks as a national marine sanctuary.

 1993 
The GMF is awarded a grant by the Texas A&M University Sea Grant College Program to direct the Gulf of Mexico Regional Marine Research Program aimed at setting priorities for research across the Gulf of Mexico. This two-year program results in two published reports proposing a research strategy for the Gulf. Nearly 200 marine scientists, business leaders, and other stakeholders from the five Gulf states participate.
The GMF Flower Garden Banks Fund is established in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program. This precedent-setting program offers an avenue for individuals and businesses to support a government program devoted to marine conservation and education.

 1994 
The first Night on the Flower Gardens educational event is held in Houston, Texas, focusing attention on the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
In cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the GMF grants monetary awards to support marine research projects of three graduate students from Texas A&M University.

The GMF takes a leadership role in the Gulf of Mexico Regional Marine Research Program. The program, established in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), encourages effective long-term research efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

 1995 
The GMF is instrumental in bringing the Gulf of Mexico Symposium to Corpus Christi, Texas. The symposium provides a forum for students, teachers, leaders of business and industry, resource managers, and scientists to discuss environmental and resource management issues of the Gulf. The GMF raises $31,000 to pay for special event costs and travel support for 15 scientists and nearly 40 students and teachers from the US and Mexico. In addition, the Foundation receives a grant of $68,000 from the Gulf of Mexico Program to provide support for the symposium.
In cooperation with Texaco Oil and Gas and ORYX Energy, the GMF provides more than $16,000 to support research projects of six graduate students from Texas A&M, the University of Texas, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
The GMF receives donated office space for expansion of programs.

 1996 
The first annual Flower Garden Fund Teachers' Cruise, an educational scuba diving cruise of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), accommodates 21 high school teachers. Led by coral reef experts and co-sponsored by Shell Oil Foundation, the group spends three days exploring and studying the Flower Garden Banks.
The GMF and the Texas A&M Center for Coastal Studies envision the Rio Grande River Regional Program, aimed at developing strategy to ensure a sustainable quality of life for citizens of the US and Mexico in Rio Grande River corridor. GMF hires staff to assist in promoting programs.
Dioramas and posters of the Flower Gardens NMSare displayed in various national airports.

 1997 
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Gulf of Mexico Program award the GMF a grant to coordinate a research workshop that brings together scientists and researchers from the Gulf states. Their goal is to develop a conceptual model that can assess, monitor, and predict the impact of increasing human populations on the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.
The GMF and Sea Space, Inc. (an annual underwater dive show and exhibition) host a Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary benefit concert by the platinum-selling country band, Little Texas. The special acoustic performance sponsored by Warner Brother Records is presented in Houston, Texas, at Sea Space 1997.
The second annual Flower Garden Fund Teacher's Cruise takes place in June, co-sponsored by Shell Oil Foundation and the Gulf of Mexico Flower Garden Fund.

 1998 
The GMF sponsors three Nueces County, Texas, high school teams in the first annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl regional competition held at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The GMF and Shell Oil Co. co-sponsor the third annual Flower Garden Fund Teacher's Cruise in July and plan an advanced teachers' cruise for summer of 1999.

 1999 
The GMF sponsors three Nueces County, Texas, high school teams to participate in the second annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl regional competition held at Texas A&M University in College Station.
In March, the GMF sponsors a research cruise to the Flower Gardens Bank NMS to study the annual migration of large pelagic animals including sharks and rays. This natural phenomenon takes place every late winter/early spring where massive schools of hammerhead sharks visit the sanctuary and are extremely visible.
In May, the GMF leads an expedition co-sponsored by the Henry Foundation to Stetson Bank (part of the Flower Gardens NMS) to continue monitoring efforts started by the Gulf Reef Environmental Action Team (GREAT) in 1993.
The fourth annual Flower Garden Fund Teacher's Cruise takes place in July, followed by the first annual Advanced Teacher's Cruise for returning participants.
The GMF serves on the newly formed Communications Committee of the Gulf of Mexico Program. The committee's goal is to foster regionalized stewardship, community, and value among people to protect, restore and responsibly use the resource of the Gulf of Mexico.
The GMF serves as a core member of the Texas Cyberways and Waterways® pilot program supported by funding from the Texas Educators Association and 4empowerment, a for-profit organization dedicated to the environment and education. For info: Education.

 2000 
The GMF continues involvement in the Cyberways and Waterways® education program for high schools along the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers. Through the program, more than 14,000 students learn about habitat and water issues within their watersheds. From their classrooms, tudents explore an artificial reef 100 miles out in the gulf through an interactive, online, videotaped dive. Students learn how upriver communities affect Gulf ecosystem.
The GMF co-sponsors the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Texas Regional Competition held at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Incarnate Word Academy from Corpus Christi win the competition for the second straight year and competes in the national competition in April in Washington, D.C.
The fifth annual Flower Garden Fund Teacher's Cruise takes place in June.

 2001 
The GMF develops the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership, a multi-year program established between the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program (CRP) and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation that emphasizes restoration in Gulf Ecological Management Sites (GEMS). The CRP, through the Office of Habitat Conservation within NOAA Fisheries, provides federal funding, technical assistance, and management expertise for locally-driven restoration projects.
The GMF co-sponsors the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Texas Regional Competition held at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Incarnate Word Academy from Corpus Christi wins the competition for the third straight year and goes on to compete in the National competition in April in Miami, Florida.
The sixth annual Flower Garden Fund Teacher's Cruise takes place in June.

 2002 
The GMF administers for a second year the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership, funding three restoration projects. For info: Year 2002 Restoration.
The GMF contributes financial support to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Texas Regional Competition held at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
The seventh annual "Down Under, Out Yonder" Teacher's Cruise takes place in June, with an advanced trip for returning divers in July. For info: DUOY.
The GMF website, www.gulfmex.org, is redesigned and expanded. Publication of a quarterly newsletter, News from the Gulf, begins.
GMF funds video production for Gulf Guardian Awards recipients. For info: Partnerships.

 2003 
The GMF administers for a third year the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership, funding eight restoration projects. For info: Year 2003 Restoration.
A new web page devoted to the Gulf Ecological Management Sites program is added to the GMF website. A new GEMS logo is designed. For info: GEMS.
The GMF’s Board of Directors host a "Spring Reception" on May 22 at the Petroleum Club of Houston, inviting those interested in the Foundation to share a relaxing evening with the board.
The GMF's Executive Director, Dr. Quenton Dokken, is one of 100 delegates from the US and Mexico to attend the Binational Collaboration Workshop on Red Tide Programs held June 10-12 in New Orleans.
The GMF contributes financial support to the Loggerhead Challenge, a regional qualifier for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl held at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. For info: Science Bowl.
The eighth annual "Down Under, Out Yonder" Teacher's Dive Workshop takes place in July, with an advanced trip for returning divers in June. For info: DUOY.
The GMF receives funding from the Texas Coastal Management Program to begin a multicultural "Science & Spanish Club" program for middle school students led by project leader, Richard Gonzales, of Aransas Pass, Texas. Entitled, "The Only Barriers Along the Texas Coastline Are Islands," the program is designed to meet the needs of the diverse cultures of coastal Texas and Mexico. For info: Multiculture.
GMF funds production of glass mementos presented to 2003 Gulf Guardian Awards recipients. For info: Partnerships.
To promote the DUOY workshop for teachers, the multicultural project and other educational programs, the GMF attends Conference for Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) exposition in Houston, where 4,600 science teachers were present.

 2004 
The GMF administers for a fourth year the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership, funding seven restoration projects. For info: Year 2004 Restoration. The Foundation signs an agreement with NOAA to administer the program through 2006.
The GMF partners with Southern Breeze Magazine to take part in the first annual Coastal Wine Tour, a three-stop tour that introduces participants to fine wines and food, while also educating them about preserving the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. For info: Partnerships.
The GMF’s Board of Directors host a reception on June 8 at the Petroleum Club of Houston, inviting those interested in the Foundation to share a relaxing evening with the board.
The GMF adds four new members to the Board of Directors, Hugh Depland, J. Gary Ellis, Paul Kelly and Margaret Miller. For info: Board.
The GMF adds two new staff members, project coordinator Kendal Keyes and federal contracts specialist Bobbi Reed. For info: Staff.
GMF receives first place in the Civic/Nonprofit Organization category of the 2004 Gulf Guardian Awards. For info: Partnerships.
The GMF's quarterly newsletter, News from the Gulf, moves from its traditional print version to electronic form and is sent via the internet to subscribers and Foundation partners. Back issues of the newsletter are listed as links at the bottom of the menu on every page of the website. For info: Newsletters.
The ninth annual "Down Under, Out Yonder" Teacher's Dive Workshop educates 18 teachers about the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary during the 4-day event held July 10-14 in Galveston, Texas. For info: DUOY.
The GMF continues its multicultural "Science & Spanish Club" program for middle school students led by project leader, Richard Gonzales, of Aransas Pass, Texas. Entitled, "The Only Barriers Along the Texas Coastline Are Islands," the program is designed to meet the needs of the diverse cultures of coastal Texas and Mexico. For info: Multiculture.
The GMF contributes financial support to the Loggerhead Challenge, a regional qualifier for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, held at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. For info: Science Bowl.
To promote the DUOY workshop for teachers, the multicultural project and other educational programs, GMF representatives stationed in a display booth reach 3,500 science teachers attending the Conference for Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) exposition held Nov 4-6 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

 2005 
The GMF celebrates its 15th year anniversary.
The GMF administers for a fifth year the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership, funding seven restoration projects. For info: Year 2005 Restoration.
Coastal county government representatives and over 100 students from the GMF Science & Spanish Clubs attend the first Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Youth Leadership in Stewardship Conference held May 12 in Rockport, Texas. The event was organized by the GMF and sponsored by Valero/Diamond Shamrock and Cheniere. For info: Multiculture.

 2006 
NEWS:
State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit brings 400 distinguished leaders to table, which GMF took an active role in planning and coordinating.
GMF releases a new pamphlet that better describes their programs and objectives.
NOAA awards GMF with marine stewardship and sustainability award in Washington, DC.
GMF hosts Gulf of Mexico Alliance workshops in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Executive Director, Dr. Quenton Dokken, moves to full-time.
CONSERVATION:
In April GMF receives NOAA marine stewardship award. At the Summit meeting the Governor’s Action Plan was released, outlining projects for the coast.
RESTORATION:
Kathryn Tunnell joins the GMF staff as project coordinator.
Twelve new habitat restoration projects begin under the Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP).
CRP expands into the Caribbean, kicking it off with four new projects in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Four new 2007 projects are also selected.
GMF hosts a restoration celebration in Robinson Island, Alabama in September.
GMF staff attends Restore America’s Estuaries national conference in New Orleans.
EDUCATION:
Science and Spanish Club Network (SSCN) students win trip to Orlando. Two SSCN students win the Dragonfly Quest National Science Fair.
GMF kicks off Corals to Classrooms, a class-based educational program for teachers.
PARTNERSHIPS:
GMF staff continues to collaborate with Mexican nationals on project opportunities. Rowan Companies of Houston continue to show their support of GMF with another $25,000 contribution.
BP America donates $25,000.
Rick Fowler of Dominion Oil and Exploration chosen as new board president in November.

 2007 
NEWS:
GMF expands into new, larger facilities.
Dr. Quenton Dokken serves on ultra-deepwater advisory committee.
CONSERVATION:
Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken gives keynote talk at watershed meeting in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
GMF creates new traveling display to take to outreach events.
RESTORATION:
First three-year CRP restoration partnership ends and the second one to begin.
GMF coordinates Regional Restoration Coordination Team (RRCT) workshops in St. Petersburg, Florida, Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Galveston, Texas.
The first Caribbean GCRP project is completed. Eight new restoration projects are selected for 2008.
EDUCATION:
Science and Spanish Club Network (SSCN) hosts two-town trash parade. SSCN provides largest turnout ever at Lighthouse Lakes for beach cleanup.
PARTNERSHIPS:
GMF holds board meetings in both New Orleans, Louisiana, and Brownsville, Texas.

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail: info@gulfmex.org     website: gulfmex.org
webmaster: Carrie Robertson

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