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ABOUT US > DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE > JUNE 2009 DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Director's Message

by Dr. Quenton Dokken

Dr. Quenton DokkenJune 2009 - Summer is upon us, hurricane season is here, and in South Texas an extreme drought is dominating conversations, yet the Gulf of Mexico Foundation continues to move forward on its mission. I don’t know if you have ever taken the time to read the GMF mission, but it directs us down a course pursuing sustainable economies and environmental health and productivity. In short, we want to do our part to achieve a sustainable quality of life that we can pass on to future generations.

I have long advocated that our planning horizon should be at least one lifetime. At a conference in Washington D.C. recently I heard one speaker comment on how difficult it was to get people to consider life in the year 2100 since the adult audiences he spoke with would not be alive in 2100. It does sound like light years away, but consider this – a baby born today will likely be alive and kicking in 2100. Just look at any newborn or toddler today and you are looking at the faces of the year 2100. It is our obligation to ensure that they will have access to same qualities of life we enjoy today – hence, the mission of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

GMF Project Manager Mikell Smith is off and running with our contract with the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) to study the social issues around management of the Sabine and Red Rivers, which both flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty plus U.S. states and six Mexico states drain into the Gulf of Mexico, and this is our first watershed project. Undoubtedly there will be many more. I joined Mike and the SARP organization at a meeting at Lake Guntersville State Park in northern Alabama this spring. It was a great meeting site and a wonderful gathering of like-minded resource management professionals dedicated to building a sustainable quality of life for the year 2100.

This summer is jam packed with action for the GMF staff. We hosted our first teachers’ Intracoastal Waterway Wetlands Cruise (IWWC) in June and will host our fourteenth year of the Down Under Out Yonder teachers’ coral reef ecology program in July. I will be moderating a panel on tourism in Washington, D.C.  GMF Restoration Program Manager Ryan Fikes will be in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Mexico, and multiple U.S. Gulf States, managing our habitat restoration programs. GMF Project Leader Richard Gonzales will be found at several community festivals introducing the crowds to Living and Working in the Coastal Zone, a concept created by the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network.

The GMF continues to benefit from its partnerships. Really, the Foundation would not exist if it were not for them. Although we work primarily with state and federal grants, it is the support that our private sector partners provides that makes it possible for us to grow and reach out in new directions. I cannot overstate their contributions to the fulfillment of our mission. Thank you for being a part of our team.

-Dr. Quenton Dokken
 GMF Executive Director

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
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