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Gulf of Mexico Foundation Gulf News Spring-Summer 2008
 Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Director's Report
by Dr. Quenton Dokken
As you well know, there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done! I and my fellow Foundation staff members are scrambling to keep up with need and opportunity. Ryan Fikes, our habitat restoration coordinator has just issued our latest Request for Proposals for 2009 Community-Based Restoration Program projects. Working with our NOAA partner for seven years, the CRP has produced impressive results. The program has generated more than two times as much in matching funds and tens of thousands of volunteer hours. We have supported projects in all five of the U.S. Gulf states and four Caribbean territories.
America's Sea – Keep It Shining!
Veracruz Gulf of Mexico Summit
June 2008 - GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken has been meeting with Governor Fidel Herrera’s staff in Veracruz, Mexico, over the past few months to plan the second State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit which will be held in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico, Feb 3-5, 2009. State of the Gulf of Mexico SummitLeading up to the Summit, Governor Herrera will host a series of meetings to identify and develop the key issues to be addressed at the summit. The meetings will continue a dialog that started during the first State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit held in March 2006 at the Harte Research Institute (HRI) in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation assisted HRI in planning and implementing the first summit. The State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit's purpose is to bring together representatives from the United States and Mexico -- two countries that share many of the same challenges including population growth, changing land use patterns, public health, economic productivity, environmental sustainability and preparing for disasters that result from either natural or human-caused events. Governor Herrera believes that leaders of local governments will play a key role in having a successful 2009 summit as they work on the issues facing both countries during this decade and beyond.
Board meeting focuses on State of the Gulf Summit
GMF Board of Directors meeting May 2008
May 2008 – The Gulf of Mexico Foundation held its spring Board of Directors meeting May 8-9 at the Omni Marina Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. The meeting kicked off with a welcome reception hosted by Marathon Oil Corporation at the nearby Texas Surf Museum. Board members met local business representatives and heard a talk given by Dr. David Yoskowitz of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies on “The Productive Value of the Gulf of Mexico.” On May 9, board members met with members of Governor Fidel Herrera’s administration from Veracruz, Mexico, to learn about the plans for the next State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit to be held in Mexico during Feb 2009. During the working lunch, Dr. Yoskowitz gave a talk on the “Economic Valuation of the Freshwater Inflow.” After conducting an afternoon business session, board members attended a Corpus Christi Hooks baseball game at the city's new Whataburger Field. The evening activities were hosted by Valero Refinery and Marathon Oil Corporation. On May 10, a number of board members participated in the GMF Science & Spanish Club Network’s Youth Leadership Conference 2008, held at the Sinton ISD High School in Sinton, Texas. The board plans to meet again in July in Clear Point, Alabama. READ MORE
Leadership event includes international component
May 2008 - Eleven GMF Science & Spanish Clubs and more than 150 students, faculty, presenters and exhibitors converged Gulf of Mexico Youth Leadership in Stewardship Conferenceon the Sinton High School campus to discuss special coastal issues during the 4th Annual Gulf of Mexico Youth Leadership in Stewardship Conference held on May 10. The GMF SSCN club from Penuelas, Puerto Rico, sent a delegation of three students along with a faculty sponsor to the event. A video conference hook-up was established between the conference site and St. Croix Central High School, USVI, setting the stage for further connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. The event was sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN), BP America, Port of Corpus Christi and Oceaneering. READ MORE
Down Under, Out Yonder successful but cut short
 July 2008 - July 2008 - The 13th annual coral reef workshop for educators, "Down Under, Out Yonder," completed two days of “hands on” instruction on how to teach RV Fling - Franklin Viola photocoral reef ecology followed by one day of scuba diving at the West Flower Garden Bank aboard the MV Fling, a 118-foot live-aboard dive boat. Due to Hurricane Dolly's presence in the Gulf of Mexico the field portion was cut short, but the participants did get to spend an extra day exploring Galveston Island. DUOY is sponsored annually by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation for educators from across the nation. A generous contribution from ConocoPhillips made the 2008 DUOY workshop possible. Since the beginning the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary education staff has played a significant role in making this program a success. In summer 2009 the DUOY concept will be expanded to include a tour of coastal habitats along the Intracoastal Waterway between Freeport, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. READ MORE
GMF's Fikes conducts site visit to marine debris project
Bayou boat tour - Ryan Fikes/GMFApril 2008 - GMF Project Coordinator Ryan Fikes conducted a site visit to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve near Thibadeaux, Louisiana, on April 7. Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program has partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Foundation on a NOAA-funded project entitled Marine Debris Clean-up: BTNEP which is removing hurricane-related debris from six sites within Barataria Basin. During the site visit, Fikes hiked on the newly constructed Bayou Coquille boardwalk and toured the Bayou Des Familles via a mud boat.
CRP project focus: Tire Removal for Elkhorn Coral
Surfrider Foundation recently completed its coral restoration project CRP #2001C located in Rincon, Puerto Rico in December 2007. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation awarded the project $30,000 in January 2007 to Tires collected from the reefremove tires and other debris from the Reserva Marine Tres Palmas. Project leaders spent a total of 31 days in the water, snorkeling, free-diving, and scuba diving to survey more than 210 acres within the reserve. Project leaders identified and marked a total of 291 debris sites and removed approximately 250 tires from the coral heads, along with clothing and other debris. Additionally, the project implemented the Protégé Tu Arrecife education and outreach campaign, which educates community members and agencies about the value and fragility of coral reef ecosystems and land-based threats including marine debris.
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