Gulf of Mexico Foundation to build restoration training center in Galveston

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Gulf of Mexico Foundation Receives $1.163 Million Grant from the Economic Development Administration and $1.75 Million Commitment from Transocean to Build Habitat Restoration Technology Training Center

WASHINGTON / HOUSTON / CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (January 10, 2021) – Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced a $1.163 Million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation to build and establish the Gulf of Mexico Habitat Restoration Technology Training Center (HRTTC) in Galveston, Texas.

Transocean and the Offshore Technology Conference Executive Committee (OTCEC) have contributed the initial lead gifts of $1.75 million and $200,000, respectively. These financial commitments kick off a $7 million capital campaign which includes the purchase of 1.819 acres of commercial property and an adjacent 15-acre wetland parcel located at 8614 Teichman Road, Galveston, Texas, which will be the home of the new Gulf of Mexico HRTTC.

HRTTC Artists Rendering“The Gulf of Mexico Foundation promotes and facilitates conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources through education, public awareness, restoration projects, research, and leadership programs. The HRTTC will provide in-person and online habitat restoration training programs focused on a holistic, ecosystem-based approach. The HRTTC will function as a center for workforce development, technical assistance, education and outreach services serving the range of businesses, organizations, communities, and governance entities which use and depend upon the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico. HRTTC programs/curriculum are geared towards educators, students, program developers, business and industry professionals, and the community at large,” explained Dr. Quenton Dokken, President and CEO of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

“The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s economic competitiveness,” Blank said. “This EDA grant will provide initial funding support to develop the Gulf of Mexico HRTTC. The Center should become an invaluable resource in responding to natural and manmade disasters that have a decidedly negative impact on the fragile coastal systems and economy of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to providing training for recovery and restoration operations, the HRTTC will also serve as a Thought Center for assisting communities in planning for the economic and environmental impacts in their areas and sharing best practices to ensure the continued conservation management of these natural resources.”

“Transocean partners with local communities and encourages volunteerism in all areas of our operations worldwide and we have been a long time supporter of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and its programs,” said Dr. Ian Hudson, the company’s Director of Operations Decision Support, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Many of our people live and work in the Gulf region and we are very pleased to support the construction and development of a center where educators, the community and industry can partner to enhance sustainable models for Gulf restoration and further education efforts that embrace sound economic and environmental principles.”

This location was selected with assistance from the Galveston Economic Development Partnership and was chosen based upon the availability of an adjacent 15-acre wetland parcel. The Foundation was able to acquire the wetlands parcel thanks to a generous donation from the OTC Executive Committee. The wetlands will be restored and used for education, training and as a community resource.

“Galveston was selected for the HRTTC due to its coastal location and diversity of marine habitats,” said Dr. Dokken. “The HRTTC will be an important element in furthering Galveston as a hub of habitat restoration science and technology, communication outreach, and education for the entire Gulf of Mexico region.”

Estimated costs for acquisition, construction, furnishings and equipment for the HRTTC building total $7 million. Thanks to the generous support of the EDA, Transocean, and the OTC Executive Committee, the Foundation purchased the land and began planning site preparation and design of the HRTTC building.

“Continued philanthropy is crucial to the success of the HRTTC capital program,” said Wayne Johnson, Chairman and Founding Member of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Without additional philanthropic support, we cannot fully realize the potential of the HRTTC and begin to reverse the decline of the Gulf of Mexico’s habitat.”

To make a donation, visit www.gulfmex.org/support or contact Dr. Quenton Dokken at 361-882-3939 or qdokken@gulfmex.org.

Project Location

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HRTTC PARTNERS

Economic Development AdministrationAbout the U.S. Economic Development Administration:
This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

About the Gulf of Mexico Foundation (www.gulfmex.org)
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF) promotes and facilitates conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources through education, public awareness, research and leadership programs. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation facilitates efforts and programs within the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal regions to achieve and sustain a high quality of life, with the environment and the economy receiving equal consideration. To help protect and conserve the Gulf of Mexico for future generations, donate to the GMF today. Eighty-five percent of all GMF funding contributes directly to the restoration, conservation and education of the Gulf of Mexico region.

About Transocean (www.deepwater.com)
Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide. With a fleet of 135 mobile offshore drilling units, excluding two Ultra-Deepwater Drillships Transocean Inc.and four High-Specification Jackups under construction, Transocean’s fleet is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world due to its emphasis on technically demanding segments of the offshore drilling business. Transocean owns or operates a contract drilling fleet of 50 High-Specification Floaters (Ultra-Deepwater, Deepwater and Harsh-Environment semisubmersibles and drillships), 25 Midwater Floaters, nine High-Specification Jackups, 50 Standard Jackups and one swamp barge.

About Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) (www.otcnet.org)
Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. OTC is held annually at Reliant Park in Houston.