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

The World Is Changing
Director's Message

by Dr. Quenton Dokken

Dr. Quenton DokkenMarch 2009 - Failing economies, failing businesses, growing unemployment, trillion dollar debt, etc, etc – the bad news seems to be never ending. But, there is good news beneath the headlines. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF) is still growing and making headway in our effort to advance sustainable habitats and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. We continue to be heavily involved with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance working with the Habitat Conservation and Restoration and Education Priority Issue Teams. Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are continuing to invest grant funds in the development and advancement of the Alliance.

The GMF's Science and Spanish Club Network continues to sail along with new schools and students joining the program. The student members are enjoying the “Science Mobile” (i.e. the car BP America bought the GMF last December). ConocoPhillips has once again funded our Down Under Out Yonder Teacher Coral Reef Ecology program and for the first time this summer the Teachers’ Intracoastal Waterway Coastal Habitat Expedition. This trip filled within two days of being announced and applications continue to arrive! The Intracoastal Expedition could grow into a year-round event with cruises all around the Gulf basin.

We have a new funding partner, the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) who is providing the GMF with a grant to conduct some management surveys along the Red and Sabine Rivers. This survey work will involve Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. And, as I speak, GMF staff is working on proposals for habitat restoration projects related to President Obama’s stimulus package. NOAA received about $170 million for restoration and job creation and the GMF is ready and prepared to assist in this program.

To carry out all of our increased activities, new people have joined our staff. Debbie Lindsey-Opel of Three Dimensional Development is leading our marketing and public relations development program, Doug Weaver is managing DUOY this year, and J.R. Jones is developing the curriculum for the Intracoastal Waterway expedition. And, when the contract with SARP is signed staff will be added to manage this effort.

All of this effort requires funding and our CEO partners are champs! They are hanging with us in these tight times and most recently Devon Energy joined this blue ribbon group. You too can help. Just visit the GMF website and click on “Donate.” Your support at any level is critical to advancing the GMF mission.

-Dr. Quenton Dokken
 GMF Executive Director

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
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