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Gulf of Mexico Foundation Gulf News Fall 2008
 Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Carrie Robertson photo
Director's Report
by Dr. Quenton Dokken
The world is changing! Since I last reported we have seen great upheaval in the economic condition of the United States – really the entire world. This upheaval began as a spectator sport as we all watched the ups and downs of the stock market, but it quickly spread from a curiosity on TV to real impact upon the individual bank account. Massive amounts of tax dollars are being dedicated to solving this real-time economic crisis. As a result, this could have significant impacts on philanthropic giving in the coming year. Still, the GMF continues to play a major role in the efforts to conserve the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea ... > READ MORE
America's Sea – Keep It Shining!
Gulf Guardian celebrates 20 years
Joe Dial with GMP's 20th anniversary cake
Gulf Guardian Awards past and present officials blow out the candles for the 20th anniversary.
October 2008 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation hosted the reception and awards ceremony for the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program's Gulf Guardian Awards which took place in New Orleans on Oct 29. This year's awards held a special significance as they were awarded in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Program's 20th anniversary. Participating in the ceremony were GMF founding board members Joe Dial and Colie Donaldson for their contributions as former Gulf Guardian Awards' Advisory Committee Chairmen. GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken and Bobbi Reed also attended the event. A video presentation that chronicled the program's past 20 years was followed by a special anniversary cake.
BP America donates $30,000 to buy GMF staff car
GMF's new car
GMF's Bobbi Reed, Ryan Fikes and Richard Gonzales pose with the GMF's new 2009 Scion XB purchased with funds donated from BP America.  Photo: Quenton Dokken
November 2008 – Thanks to the generosity of BP America, the GMF has its own "company car," a 2009 Scion XB. GMF board member and BP employee Marti Powers provided a surprise end-of-year donation of $30,000 so that the Foundation could purchase a vehicle for business use. The gift is a tremendous value to the GMF Spanish & Science Club Network and to the Foundation as a whole.
Staff attends Restore America's Estuaries conference
October 2008 – GMF's Ryan Fikes and Bobbi Reed attended this year’s Restore America’s Estuaries meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, where
Bobbi Reed and Ryan Fikes at RAE
GMF's Bobbi Reed and Ryan Fikes at the GMF booth during the RAE conference in Rhode Island this fall.
they displayed an exhibit on GMF programs and projects. More than 900 people attended this year’s event, which represents the largest gathering to date. During a pre-conference field trip, Fikes visited several Cape Code restoration projects and compared notes with other resource managers about restoration needs and techniques. The GMF not only participated in this year’s event, but helped to sponsor the conference. The GMF plans to play a key role in the next RAE conference to be held in Galveston, Texas, in 2010.
Executive Director travels to Mexico for summit plans
October 2008 – In early October, GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken traveled to Tuxpan, Mexico, to meet with Secretary of Tourism and Culture Ivan Hillman and other members of Governor Fidel Herrera’s staff to discuss plans for the second State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit which will take place in Veracruz in February 2009. One of the goals for the Summit is to have strong participation by mayors of coastal communities, both on the Mexican side and the US side of the border. Dokken will make a return trip to Mexico November 12-15 with a US delegation representing federal and US state representatives and members of academia. The first summit was held in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2006.
GMF participates in GOMA all-hands annual meeting
August 2008 – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) held its annual "all-hands" meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, Aug 20-21. GMF Board President Paul Kelly gave an opening speech and the GMF, as a part of its grant from the
Paul Kelly speaks to GOMA
GMF President Paul Kelly gave the opening speech at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance "all-hands" meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, Aug 20-21.
Environmental Protection Agency, hosted and coordinated conference pre-meetings and conference sessions. GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken, Ryan Fikes,  Bobbi Reed and Richard Gonzales attended the conference and meetings. The GMF and the Port of Corpus Christi hosted a dinner for representatives from the Governor’s office in Veracruz, Mexico, local and State dignitaries, and officials with the Port of Corpus Christi and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The social evening provided an opportunity for Cesar Gonzalez, Director of Tourism for the State of Veracruz, to provide updated information on the plans for the 2009 Veracruz State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit. READ MORE
Dokken reappointed to DOE's deepwater committee
August 2008 – GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken was approved for a second term to the Department of Energy’s Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the Secretary of Energy on the development and implementation of activities related to ultra-deepwater natural gas and other petroleum resources. As a member of the committee, Dokken will review the draft annual plan for the program and participate in development of specific written recommendations to the plan. Previously serving on the committee in 2007-2008, Dokken's new term will run from 2008 through 2010.
GMF's SSCN receives funding from various sources
November 2008 - The GMF Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN) is a multicultural outreach project working to bring English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students together through a coastal environmental education program
GMF Science & Spanish Club
GMF Science & Spanish Club brings English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students together to learn about the marine environment through experiences such as this Audubon's Rookery Island Cleanup field trip held in October in Texas.
along the Gulf coast. Funding from several agencies have made this innovative program possible. This year, the Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program (CMP) granted $52,000 to the project. For next year, the GLO has pledged another $99,900. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Environmental Education Network awarded the SSCN $30,000 for 2008-10 to expand the program to two sites in Louisiana and two sites in the upper Gulf watershed states. Still more funding came via a $4,000 grant for the second year in a row from the City of Port Isabel Economic Development Commission to conduct the Bahia Grande Limpienato Parade and Coastal Cleanup in Port Isabel the first Saturday in April. READ MORE
Teacher wetlands cruise planned for Summer 2009
October 2008 - In addition to sponsoring its annual Down Under, Out Yonder coral reef education teachers' dive workshop this summer, the GMF is currently designing an additional educational opportunity for teachers which is a cruise that focuses on coastal ecology and wetlands. Starting in Freeport, Texas, the teachers will cruise on a live-aboard boat down the Intracoastal Waterway, learning about the habitats they pass on their way to New Orleans, Louisiana.
GMF staff conducts week-long site visits in Caribbean
August 2008 - GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken and Project Coordinator Ryan Fikes traveled to the US Caribbean Territories of Puerto Rico and St. Thomas to conduct site visits on several of the current Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP) projects.
GMF Caribbean site visits
NOAA's Daphne Macfarlan, GMF's Ryan Fikes and GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken pose with Caribbean project manager during site visit.
Daphne Macfarlan of NOAA’s Restoration Center joined Dokken and Fikes on the trip. Projects visited included the Red Hook Salt Pond Restoration Project (#1004C) and the Marine Debris Removal and Monitoring Effort at Cas Cay (#2002C) on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Two other sites visited were the Tire Removal for Elkhorn Coral (#2001C) project in Rincon, Puerto Rico, and the Rehabilitation of Mangrove Channels in Piñones National Forest Project (#3002C) in Loiza, Puerto Rico. In addition to site visits, they organized several meetings with local conservation groups in the area to discuss how to promote restoration efforts in the Caribbean Territories. These meetings were instrumental in the formation of the new Virgin Islands Conservation Alliance. VIEW SLIDE SHOW
Hurricanes take a toll on CRP projects across Gulf
Before Ike  After Ike
The Fourchon Dune and Beach Restoration Project (#7003) in Louisiana was one of several GMF restoration projects that suffered damage due to Hurricane Gustav. The photos above show before and after views of an area where new plants and filter tubes, which help rebuild dunes, were completely destroyed.
September 2008 – Hurricane Ike tore through the Gulf of Mexico on September 26, leaving behind it a tattered coastline and significant habitat loss. Several of the GMF’s Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP) projects were affected by the storm, and at least one of them was completely destroyed. The Fourchon Dune and Beach Restoration Project (#7003) near Thibodeaux, Louisiana, lost much of its restored dunes and associated filter tubes in the storm surge from Hurricane Gustav, but staff are already working on replacing lost material and moving the project forward. Artist Boat’s Gateway to the Gulf Project (#6003), with the majority of its Galveston-area work destroyed, has recently moved its work from Galveston to the Port Isabel area in south Texas. The Peveto Sand Fencing Project (#7004) in Jennings, Louisiana, lost all of its installed sand fencing and continues to face difficulty accessing project sites. The GMF is encouraging and supporting these CRP project leaders as they push forward and continue to work towards restoring valuable coastal habitats.
Habitat restoration team moves into new NOAA grant
August 2008 – The Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT), a work group coordinated by the GMF, recently completed an EPA Gulf of Mexico Program grant and has received funding from the NOAA Coastal Services Center to continue its work. The new grant designates over $800K to provide a strategy for protecting the quality of life in coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico region by working with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance in addressing the Wetland and Coastal Conservation and Restoration action of the Governor’s Action Plan. The GMF also partners with the Nature Conservancy in addressing sea level rise and coastal response, as well as with Texas Parks and Wildlife in addressing long-term framework for the management of freshwater resources as additional grant components.
GMF Board of Directors meets in Alabama

GMF Board of Directors & Staff
During the GMF Board of Directors meeting held in Alabama in July 2008, GMF board members and associates toured the Shell Exploration and Production Company’s Yellowhammer Gas Processing Plant in Coden, Alabama.
July 2008 -The GMF Board of Directors held its summer meeting in Point Clear, Alabama, July 28-29. The trip began with a tour of the Shell Exploration and Production Company’s Yellowhammer Gas Processing Plant in Coden. The next day the board approved and welcomed two new members, David McBride with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Dan Smallwood with ConocoPhillips. The rest of the morning was devoted to presentations and discussions relative to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, with a presentation from Dr. William Walker, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. The GMF manages and coordinates the Gulf state-led activities relevant to habitat restoration and conservation for GOMA. Following the board's business meeting, Shell Exploration and Production Company hosted an evening reception during which the GMF shared its mission, goals and activities with local dignitaries and area environmental groups. READ MORE
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