Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
volunteers unloading bagged oyster shell at Mattie-Kelly reef site, a
GMF CRP project in Florida.
America's Sea — Keep It Shining!
CONSERVATION / RESTORATION
GMF continues restoration funding, NOAA partnership
June 2010 – The Gulf of Mexico Foundation has been selected as one of the NOAA Restoration Center’s partners
for the next three years (2010-2013) for the
Restoration Program (CRP).
Since 2001, the GMF has been administering grants for the CRP program,
which supports on-the-ground habitat restoration of vital habitats throughout the
states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and US territories of the Caribbean Sea. The partnership has implemented more than
70 projects and restored more than 1,000 acres of habitat.
The EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, for the next three years,
will also be contributing significant funding to the GCRP through its support of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.
During the next three years, the GMF will work to further
strengthen the CRP program by increasing the level of funding for
projects and by decreasing the reporting requirements for
READ MORE ABOUT CRP
DOWNLOAD CRP GUIDELINES (PDF)
Staff tracks restoration projects in wake of oil spill
May 2010 – The Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP),
which the GMF administers, has several projects that are threatened by the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Since the oil spill began on April 20, GMF staff members have been tracking the path of the spill, which has the
potential to affect both past and present CRP projects. In this part of the Gulf, projects range from dune and marsh restoration to shoreline
stabilization and terracing. Many of these sensitive habitats will likely be damaged by the spill, but the extent of the damage and
potential recovery rates are unknown. After completing extensive site visits to CRP projects in the Caribbean this spring, GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes is
planning to visit several CRP projects in Louisiana and Mississippi in July to assist in damage assessment and to
visit with project managers regarding next steps. Local resource
managers will continue to monitor these projects well into the future. The need for restoration in the Gulf of Mexico is now being
viewed as a national priority by the Obama Administration, and the President
has announced that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will develop a
long-term restoration plan for the Gulf coast.
Team moves forward with sediment management
June 2010 – At the end of May, the GMF requested project
proposals for two regional sediment management (RSM) initiatives
implemented by the Gulf of
Mexico Alliance's (GOMA) Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT).
The goal is to use sediments from dredging and other sources to
preserve and restore habitat. GMF will fund the proposals and coordinates HCRT activities.
further develop the Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan (GRSMMP), which will serve as a guide for the
wise use of sediment resources throughout the Gulf of Mexico. A
collaborative partner for each project should be selected by mid-July.
One of the two initiatives, the RSM Case Studies Compilation, will examine
12 cases to illustrate how the application of RSM principles has improved habitat conservation and restoration outcomes
or, in some cases, how an RSM approach might
have yielded better results. The compilation will comprise a chapter
in the GRSMMP. The HCRT carefully considered the merits of each case
to be studied to ensure that the final selections best illustrate the
challenges and opportunities for enhancing habitat through
implementation of RSM on the Gulf coast.
The other initiative is an update to an existing RSM plan released
in 2002, the Long-Term Comprehensive Master Plan for Beneficial Uses
of Dredged Material Along Coastal Mississippi.
In addition to providing coastal Mississippi with a more up-to-date
plan, the lessons learned through this initiative will be made
available to coastal decision makers and and be used to inform future
READ MORE ABOUT GOMA
Gulf economy shifts as jobs move to oil spill response
June 2010 – Although reduced by containment/diversion efforts, the Mississippi Canyon 252 blowout continues to leak oil into
the Gulf of Mexico.
The first relief well is still 30+ days away from completion and the spill response effort continues to dominate the media, Congress and
President Obama’s Administration. And, regardless of any actions taken, BP
can do no right in the public’s eyes. The economic dynamics of the
impacted areas are changing from economies based on fishing and tourism
to economies based on spill response efforts. Daily, the media shows us
people whose traditional way of life is being changed. But, the media
has focused little attention on those who are making significant money
off the spill response efforts. Make no mistake, as some people are
being negatively impacted others are profiting and will continue to do
so for the foreseeable future. The $20+ billion that BP will spend will
flow through the communities of the northern Gulf of Mexico ...
GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken after TV interview on oil spill.
CONTINUE READING DIRECTOR'S COMMENTARY
Summer teacher cruises cancelled due to Gulf oil spill
June 2010 - The GMF's two teacher education workshops sponsored
by ConocoPhillips this summer have both been cancelled, due to the
oil spill. The Intracoastal Waterway Cruise (IWWC), scheduled for the
week June 14-18, has been cancelled, as well as the
Down Under Out
Yonder (DUOY) cruise, scheduled for July 10-14.
GMF was notified that the live-aboard boat chartered for
the expeditions, the M/V Fling of Fling Charters, had been recently
chartered to take
part in the cleanup and monitoring
efforts for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for the duration of the
summer, since many large vessels are needed for that effort.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the original version of this issue of Gulf News, it was reported that the M/V Fling
had been re-commissioned by the federal government (NOAA) for the oil
spill clean up, but that information was incorrect. A private contractor
working on the oil spill chartered the vessel.
This will be the first year that the DUOY program has missed an
expedition in the 15 years it has been conducted. The IWWC was
inaugurated last year. Foundation staff are working on alternative
programs to this year’s cruises and would like to extend their sincerest
apologies to participants. This circumstance is yet another example of
how the oil spill is affecting people throughout the greater Gulf of
Mexico region and beyond.
Science & Spanish Clubs help clean Matagorda Island
April 2010 - Students in the GMF's
Science & Spanish Club
Network (SSCN) from Sinton, Aransas Pass, and Corpus Christi, Texas,
conducted their second Matagorda Island
clean-up on April 24, helping to collect 10,200 pounds of marine debris.
Matagorda Island is a Marine Protected Area and is a part of the Aransas
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The SSCN will conduct four more
Matagorda Island clean-ups over the next two years under a grant from
the Texas General Land Office's Coastal Management Program. Before
public clean-ups like this one by SSCN students are conducted, the ANWR,
US Coast Guard and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality work
together to survey and clean up hazardous materials along the
Smith participates in conferences, symposium
May 2010 - GMF Project Coordinator Mikell Smith represented the
Gulf of Mexico Alliance's (GOMA) Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT)
at the 2010 Coastal Resilience Symposium,
May 26 at Rice
University in Houston. As the liaison between the HCRT and the Coastal Community Resilience Team, Smith keeps abreast of resilience
issues and communicates them to the HCRT. The discussions centered on issues related to storm preparedness, and participants weighed the
pros and cons of structural and non-structural methods.
Smith also attended a workshop on conservation easements and then
took part in the
Louisiana State of the Coast Conference in Baton Rouge June 8-10,
which focused on conservation and restoration techniques, projects and
other issues affecting coastal Louisiana. A panel of scientists and
resource managers closed the conference with an informative and
fact-based presentation on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, providing
perspectives on response
efforts and the potential for future effects.
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