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Gulf News Fall 2010
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  Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
RESTORATION EDUCATION STAFF SUBSCRIBE

In This Issue:

Director's Message

Deputy Director tours restoration sites in spill area

GMF working to compare US, Mexico policy

Partnership to further conservation on private lands

New projects will support Gulf sediment management

New project with Marathon in Equatorial Guinea

GMF joins SERI’s Global Restoration Network

Dia Del Rio planning aims to unite border watershed

GMF joins SERI’s Global Restoration Network

Gonzales named head of Upper 33/Lower 6 group

Suraida Nañez-James joins GMF as project assistant

Volunteers at Terramar Beach Community plant marsh grass along the shoreline of West Galveston Bay as part of a recent GMF CRP project in Texas.  
America's Sea — Keep It Shining!
DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
GMF follows oil spill, builds staff, plans new projects
August 30, 2021 - Summer is cooking and so too is the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. It’s been a busy summer with the Mississippi Canyon 252 Macondo blowout. I’ve been back and forth across the northern Gulf multiple times and in the media around the world offering insights based on my experience with the 1979 IXTOC I blowout in the Bay of Campeche of Mexico. For 10 months the IXTOC well poured heavy crude into the southern Gulf of Mexico, much of which landed on the beaches of Texas’ barrier islands. It was the best model from which to predict the impacts and fate of the Macondo blowout; and the Macondo spill seems to be responding the same. In this case, we can be thankful that history has/is repeating itself.
   Unfortunately, due to the spill, the GMF had to cancel both of our summer teachers' cruises – Down Under Out Yonder and ...
  CONTINUE READING DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
 
CONSERVATION / RESTORATION
Deputy Director tours restoration sites in oil spill area
July 2010 – GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes visited six restoration sites in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, which the GMF oversees through its role as administrator of the Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP).

Bayou Rebirth Executive Director Colleen Morgan and GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes at one of the restoration project’s planting sites. PHOTO: GMF
The projects lie in coastal areas that were potentially threatened by the Gulf oil spill. "During the first few weeks of the oil spill, we tracked the NOAA spill trajectories to monitor our restoration projects, which allowed us to assist our project managers around the Gulf to determine whether they should suspend project activities or continue as planned," Fikes said. During the site visits he was accompanied by state and federal agency employees, local government and non-profit personnel. They found that, although oil had hit the shore in some places, impacts were few and far between, with minimal damage to project sites. "This visit was extremely eye-opening in that habitats appear to be truly resilient. The only thing that they can’t seem to handle is us,” Fikes said.
  READ FIKES' FULL SITE VISIT REPORT
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GMF working to compare US, Mexico policy
September 2010 – Through funding from NOAA to support the Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team (HCRT) of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), GMF has recently initiated a new bi-national project that will take an
 
Partners for the bi-national project that will compare US and Mexican conservation and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico
in-depth look at comparing US and Mexican policy, law and management for conservation and restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. Project partners Environmental Law Institute (ELI) from the US, and Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) from Mexico will develop a strategy for enhanced collaboration toward HCRT goals and actions building upon the existing system of laws, policies and institutions. The resulting report will help decision-makers understand opportunities for and obstacles to collaborative habitat conservation and protection; provide guidance to what a Mexican Gulf Alliance could entail and steps to achieve such an Alliance; and serve as a comprehensive compendium of Mexican and US laws, policies and institutions related to Gulf of Mexico coastal habitat conservation and restoration. This project is part of the HCRT’s overall efforts to streamline restoration activities and to reverse the downward trend in habitat and ecosystem services.
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Partnership to further conservation on private lands
August 2010 – In its role as administrator of the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT) of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, GMF has contracted

Increasing conservation of private lands is the goal of the partnership.
PHOTO © thirdcoastphoto.com
with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA). The LTA will lead an initiative to determine the impediments to restoration and conservation of private lands in the Gulf of Mexico region and to develop recommendations that could lead to increased conservation. Land trusts work closely with private landowners seeking to accomplish long-term conservation objectives. This project should illuminate some of the challenges those landowners face in that endeavor. Principals will engage other stakeholder interests as well, particularly those that work with incentive programs within each of the five Gulf Coast states. Given that this is a partnership effort, HCRT members will collaborate throughout the conduct of the project. The six-month project begins on September 1. For more information, contact GMF Project Coordinator Mike Smith at mike@gulfmex.org. READ MORE ABOUT HCRT
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New projects will support Gulf sediment management
September 2010 – Through its efforts with the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT), GMF will be awarding two contracts this fall to facilitate projects that will enhance regional sediment management efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The first project will be led by CH2M Hill and will conduct an

GMF will be awarding two contracts this fall to enhance regional sediment management efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
PHOTO: Carrie Robertson/GMF
update to the Mississippi Regional Sediment Management Master Plan (MS RSMMP). The plan can be used by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and others to restore and enhance coastal marshes and other critical habitat by aggressively managing sediments at a state and coastal level. The MS RSMMP can also be used as a template for expanding the state-level approach to managing sediments to that of a regional approach. The second project will be the compilation of information regarding 12 regional sediment management (RSM) case studies of dredging and other similar projects to be included in the GRSMMP. The project, to be lead by Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, will help illustrate impediments and successes when implementing an RSM approach and is expected to yield lessons learned toward developing improved RSM plans in the Gulf of Mexico. Together these two projects will further the HCRT goal of more effectively using dredged materials and other sediment resources for restoration projects.
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PARTNERSHIPS
GMF joins SERI’s Global Restoration Network
2010 – As part of GMF’s ongoing attempts to increase the effectiveness of its programs and mission, the Foundation recently joined the Global Restoration Network (GRN), a project of the Society for Ecological Restoration International (SERI). The GRN offers those in the field of ecological restoration trustworthy and hard-to-find information on all aspects of restoration, from historic ecosystems and causes of degradation to in-depth case studies and proven restoration methods and techniques. Through its conservation and restoration programs, GMF will work with GRN to promote funding opportunities such as the Community-based Restoration Partnership and Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team, communicate in forums with other restoration professionals, and act as a member of its Community Restoration Network, which aims to bridge the gap between the discipline of restoration ecology and communities around the world attempting to restore the ecological integrity of their surrounding landscapes.
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New project with Marathon in Equatorial Guinea
August 2010 – Equatorial Guinea, a small country on the western coast of Africa, stands to benefit from a unique fishery development partnership forged by

GMF staff participated in a meeting in August about a conservation partnership being forged for Equatorial Guinea.
PHOTO: Quenton Dokken/GMF
Marathon Oil, Noble Energy and GMF. The partnership will provide management and monitoring of reef projects and an education program. Government and business leaders, professionals and local users from Equatorial Guinea will provide extensive input. Establishing fishery management practices to protect the abundant resources of Equatorial Guinea can facilitate a sustainable future for the local marine ecosystems. Indigenous peoples around the world have been impacted as commercial fishing practices and other stresses degrade fishery productivity. Developing a system of artificial reefs will enhance fisheries as well as ecotourism opportunities.
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EDUCATION
Dia Del Rio planning aims to unite border watershed
August 2010 – GMF Science & Spanish Club Network Project Coordinator Richard Gonzales attended a planning meeting on August 10 with staff from the

GMF's Richard Gonzales, right, reviews the levee system along the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo with David Negrete of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. PHOTO: CILA
Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC) to create a watershed educational event to engage students that live along the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo watershed from Colorado to Mexico. Called Rio Research Roundup, the event will include participation from more than 40 schools. On October 6 at 11 am CDT student groups from each participating school will take a water quality "snapshot" of the watershed near their school to measure 10 chemical parameters. Results from each "snapshot" will be combined into one study. Each group of students will record a You Tube video of their project and plan a community awareness project to be entered into a competition.
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Gonzales named head of Upper 33/Lower 6 group
August 2010 – During a Gulf of Mexico Alliance All-Hands meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, on August 4, GMF Project Leader Richard Gonzales was named

GMF's Richard Gonzales, right, presents a SSCN T-shirt to TCEQ Commissioner Buddy Garcia during a GOMA All-Hands meeting.
PHOTO: TCEQ
chair of the newly established Upper 33/Lower 6 public education and outreach working group that supports the goals and objectives of the Governors’ Action Plan II implementation. During the meeting, Gonzales, who coordinates the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN), presented Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Commissioner Buddy Garcia with a SSCN T-shirt. Garcia is the Texas state lead representing the Governor’s Office, one of five US Gulf state leads that lead the GOMA organizational structure.
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STAFF
Suraida Nañez-James joins GMF as project assistant
August 2010 - Suraida Nañez-James joined the GMF this fall to work on special projects, assist with contracts and help with office administration. Before coming to GMF, she was a doctoral fellow at the University of Louisiana Lafayette where she worked with NOAA’s fisheries lab. Before that Suraida worked as a Research Assistant at the Harte Research Institute, where she lead the Laguna Outreach Project and worked on special projects under Dr. Wes Tunnell. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, she received a Bachelor’s in Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2002 and then a Master’s of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2006. Her interests include marine and fisheries ecology, invertebrate biology and environmental education.
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