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Gulf News Fall 2007
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 Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
© Carrie Robertson/thirdcoastphoto.com
GMF to host Gulf Guardian Awards
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation will host the banquet for this year's Gulf Guardian Awards to be held in Tampa, Florida, on Nov 14. Gulf Guardian Awards, hosted by the EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program, recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. All winners receive a memento, press coverage about their project and recognition by their peers. First place winners receive a 3-minute professional video about their project or efforts.
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EDUCATION
DUOY 2007 photo slideshow online
Franklin Viola photo
The 13th annual Down Under, Out Yonder Advanced Educators Cruise held in July brought 18 teachers to the reef for a three-day trip on a live-aboard dive boat. ConocoPhillips provided funding for the trip, which is a joint venture between the GMF and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photographer Franklin Viola was onboard this year to document the trip. His log of the trip begins, "Have you ever wondered how a bunch of school teachers really behave on summer break? ... Stay up late playing board games, cackle so loud other 'adults' get little sleep and consume anything chocolate. Then drag out of bed with uncombed mop-tops and wondering why the floor is moving."   VIEW PHOTOS
 
GMF S&S; Club members learn through beach clean-ups
September 2007 - More than 130 members of the GMF Science & Spanish Club Network helped to boost the largest volunteer turnout (160) ever for the Texas Richard Gonzales photoGeneral Land Office's Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup at the Lighthouse Lakes Park, Conn Brown Harbor and the Aransas Pass Aquatics Center held on Sept 22. S&S Clubs from Sinton, Ingleside, Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass joined over 30 other community volunteers as 300 hundred bags of beach debris were picked up. "The Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup experience teaches youth leadership skills by learning how to take the initiative in picking up other people’s trash,” said S&S Club project manager Richard Gonzales of the GMF. Another 180 S&S Club students from other schools participated in the Redfish Bay Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup in Matagorda County on the same day. READ MORE
RESTORATION
CRP project focus: Re-planting a newborn lagoon
Manatee County Borrow Pit Transformation projectOctober 2007 - Since February, the Manatee County Borrow Pit Transformation project in Bradenton, Florida, has clocked almost 1,000 volunteer hours to replant the borrow-pit-turned-lagoon. Utilizing local students and Marsh Mania weekend events, volunteers became a part of this "Restoration Revolution" as they worked to plant salt marsh species at the newborn lagoon. In total 275 volunteers have planted over 30,000 marsh plants in an effort to bring life to this newly created habitat.

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Committee selects new restoration projects for 2008
Entering into its seventh year, the Community-based Restoration Partnership administered by the GMF received proposals totaling over $1.5 million for restoration projects in the Gulf States and U.S. Territories of the Caribbean. With only $300,000 to award, the selection process was highly competitive. After careful consideration the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and its CRP Steering Committee would like to congratulate the following eight recipients for funding during the coming year:
  • Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Helen Wood Park Restoration Project
  • Friends of Aransas and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge, TM Pass Project
  • Department of Biological Sciences at Nicholls State University, Fourchon Dune and Beach Community Restoration
  • Imperial Calcasieu Resource Conservation and Development, Peveto Sand Fencing and Vegetation Project
  • Choctawahatchee Basin Alliance, Cessna/Mattie Kelly Parks Oyster Bar and Salt Marsh Construction
  • Preserving the Environment through Ecological Research, Heart Mountain Farm Fisheries Habitat
  • Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, Hurricane Hole Moorings/ Mangrove Protection Project
  • Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Rehabilitation of Mangrove Channels in Pinones State Forest and Natural Reserve
STAFF
GMF staff travels to Florida to host RRCT workshop
September 2007 - GMF staff members Dr. Quenton Dokken, Bobbi Reed and Kathryn Tunnell traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida, to host the last in a series of state-lead Regional Restoration Coordination Team workshops at Weedon Island Preserve Sept 22-25. Under a grant awarded to the GMF by the Environmental Protection Agency, the GMF is tasked with organizing and facilitating a series of meetings to be held in each of the TPWD photogulf states to identify needs and priorities for coastal habitat restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.

PHOTO: Randy Runnels, Florida’s RRCT State Lead, guides a group kayak tour through Terra Ceia.
Photo courtesy TPWD

The Florida/Caribbean workshop included a field trip to familiarize other state natural resource managers with Florida restoration and conservation projects, as well as issues and challenges that the state faces. The field trip was followed by presentations from natural resource managers and scientists from the gulf states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. During the workshop, natural resource managers from across the gulf region discussed parallel problems and challenges, possible solutions and the implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governor’s Action Plan.
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  BOARD
Board of Directors meets in New Orleans Aug 7-8
August, 2007 – The Gulf of Mexico Foundation Board of Directors held its summer meeting Aug 7-8 in New Orleans. On Aug 7, ConocoPhillips hosted an all-day tour by boat for the board members of the Southeast Louisiana fee lands which the company owns. They own approximately 640,000 acres, all coastal marsh land. The tour provided an opportunity to identify the challenges faced in managing coastal properties with many diverse stakeholder interests. Greg DuCote with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources also assisted in the field trip, and provided an overview of the coastal restoration efforts ongoing in the state. That evening, GMF board member Marti Powers and BP-America hosted a dinner for board members and guests, providing an opportunity to socialize, network and share thoughts and impressions from the day’s field trip. On August 8, the GMF Board conducted its quarterly business meeting at the offices of Shell Exploration and Production in New Orleans. Fred Palmer with Shell E&P;, and Kevin McEvoy with Oceaneering International, Inc., were approved for membership to the board. READ MORE
 

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Please visit www.gulfmex.org for more information about the Gulf of Mexico Foundation or contact us at info@gulfmex.org, 800.884.4175, 361.882.3939. Write us at PMB 51 - 5403 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411.

© 2007 Gulf of Mexico Foundation. All rights reserved. E-newsletter design by Carrie Robertson