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Gulf News Summer 2010
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  Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
RESTORATION EDUCATION STAFF SUBSCRIBE
GMF receives fourth NOAA habitat restoration grant

In This Issue:

GMF continues restoration funding, NOAA partnership

Staff tracks restoration projects in wake of oil spill

Team moves forward with more GOMA projects

Director's Message: Gulf economy shifts as jobs move to oil spill response

Summer teacher cruises cancelled due to oil spill

Science & Spanish Clubs help clean Matagorda Island

Smith participates in conferences, symposium

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Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance volunteers unloading bagged oyster shell at Mattie-Kelly reef site, a GMF CRP project in Florida.  
America's Sea — Keep It Shining!
CONSERVATION / RESTORATION
GMF continues restoration funding, NOAA partnership
June 2010 – The Gulf of Mexico Foundation has been selected as one of the NOAA Restoration Center’s partners for the next three years (2010-2013) for the Community-based Restoration Program (CRP).
  Since 2001, the GMF has been administering grants for the CRP program, which supports on-the-ground habitat restoration of vital habitats throughout the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and US territories of the Caribbean Sea. The partnership has implemented more than 70 projects and restored more than 1,000 acres of habitat.
   The EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, for the next three years, will also be contributing significant funding to the GCRP through its support of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.
   During the next three years, the GMF will work to further strengthen the CRP program by increasing the level of funding for projects and by decreasing the reporting requirements for grantees.
  READ MORE ABOUT CRP
  DOWNLOAD CRP GUIDELINES (PDF)
 
Staff tracks restoration projects in wake of oil spill
May 2010 – The Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership (CRP), which the GMF administers, has several projects that are threatened by the CRP project areas affected by Deepwater Horizon oil spill - click to enlargeDeepwater Horizon oil spill. Since the oil spill began on April 20, GMF staff members have been tracking the path of the spill, which has the potential to affect both past and present CRP projects. In this part of the Gulf, projects range from dune and marsh restoration to shoreline stabilization and terracing. Many of these sensitive habitats will likely be damaged by the spill, but the extent of the damage and potential recovery rates are unknown. After completing extensive site visits to CRP projects in the Caribbean this spring, GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes is planning to visit several CRP projects in Louisiana and Mississippi in July to assist in damage assessment and to visit with project managers regarding next steps. Local resource managers will continue to monitor these projects well into the future. The need for restoration in the Gulf of Mexico is now being viewed as a national priority by the Obama Administration, and the President has announced that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will develop a long-term restoration plan for the Gulf coast.
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Team moves forward with sediment management
June 2010 – At the end of May, the GMF requested project proposals for two regional sediment management (RSM) initiatives implemented by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's (GOMA) Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT). The goal is to use sediments from dredging and other sources to preserve and restore habitat. GMF will fund the proposals and coordinates HCRT activities.
   Both initiatives Regional sediment management initiativeswill further develop the Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan (GRSMMP), which will serve as a guide for the wise use of sediment resources throughout the Gulf of Mexico. A collaborative partner for each project should be selected by mid-July.
   One of the two initiatives, the RSM Case Studies Compilation, will examine 12 cases to illustrate how the application of RSM principles has improved habitat conservation and restoration outcomes or, in some cases, how an RSM approach might have yielded better results. The compilation will comprise a chapter in the GRSMMP. The HCRT carefully considered the merits of each case to be studied to ensure that the final selections best illustrate the challenges and opportunities for enhancing habitat through implementation of RSM on the Gulf coast.
   The other initiative is an update to an existing RSM plan released in 2002, the Long-Term Comprehensive Master Plan for Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material Along Coastal Mississippi.
   In addition to providing coastal Mississippi with a more up-to-date plan, the lessons learned through this initiative will be made available to coastal decision makers and and be used to inform future RSM initiatives.
READ MORE ABOUT GOMA
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DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
Gulf economy shifts as jobs move to oil spill response
June 2010 – Although reduced by containment/diversion efforts, the Mississippi Canyon 252 blowout continues to leak oil into
GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken
GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken after TV interview on oil spill.
the Gulf of Mexico. The first relief well is still 30+ days away from completion and the spill response effort continues to dominate the media, Congress and President Obama’s Administration. And, regardless of any actions taken, BP can do no right in the public’s eyes. The economic dynamics of the impacted areas are changing from economies based on fishing and tourism to economies based on spill response efforts. Daily, the media shows us people whose traditional way of life is being changed. But, the media has focused little attention on those who are making significant money off the spill response efforts. Make no mistake, as some people are being negatively impacted others are profiting and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The $20+ billion that BP will spend will flow through the communities of the northern Gulf of Mexico ...
  CONTINUE READING DIRECTOR'S COMMENTARY
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EDUCATION
Summer teacher cruises cancelled due to Gulf oil spill
June 2010 - The GMF's two teacher education workshops sponsored by ConocoPhillips this summer have both been cancelled, due to the Deepwater Summer teacher cruises cancelled due to oil spillHorizon oil spill. The Intracoastal Waterway Cruise (IWWC), scheduled for the week June 14-18, has been cancelled, as well as the Down Under Out Yonder (DUOY) cruise, scheduled for July 10-14.
   GMF was notified that the live-aboard boat chartered for the expeditions, the M/V Fling of Fling Charters, had been recently chartered to take part in the cleanup and monitoring efforts for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for the duration of the summer, since many large vessels are needed for that effort.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the original version of this issue of Gulf News, it was reported that the M/V Fling had been re-commissioned by the federal government (NOAA) for the oil spill clean up, but that information was incorrect. A private contractor working on the oil spill chartered the vessel.
   This will be the first year that the DUOY program has missed an expedition in the 15 years it has been conducted. The IWWC was inaugurated last year. Foundation staff are working on alternative programs to this year’s cruises and would like to extend their sincerest apologies to participants. This circumstance is yet another example of how the oil spill is affecting people throughout the greater Gulf of Mexico region and beyond.
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Science & Spanish Clubs help clean Matagorda Island
April 2010 - Students in the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN) from Sinton, Aransas Pass, and Corpus Christi, Texas, conducted their second Matagorda Island GMF Science & Spanish Club on Matagorda Island - click photo to enlargecoastal clean-up on April 24, helping to collect 10,200 pounds of marine debris. Matagorda Island is a Marine Protected Area and is a part of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The SSCN will conduct four more Matagorda Island clean-ups over the next two years under a grant from the Texas General Land Office's Coastal Management Program. Before public clean-ups like this one by SSCN students are conducted, the ANWR, US Coast Guard and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality work together to survey and clean up hazardous materials along  the island's beaches.
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STAFF
Smith participates in conferences, symposium
May 2010 - GMF Project Coordinator Mikell Smith represented the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's (GOMA) Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT) at the 2010 Coastal Resilience Symposium, GMF Project Coordinator Mikell Smithheld May 26 at Rice University in Houston. As the liaison between the HCRT and the Coastal Community Resilience Team, Smith keeps abreast of resilience issues and communicates them to the HCRT. The discussions centered on issues related to storm preparedness, and participants weighed the pros and cons of structural and non-structural methods.
   Smith also attended a workshop on conservation easements and then took part in the Louisiana State of the Coast Conference in Baton Rouge June 8-10, which focused on conservation and restoration techniques, projects and other issues affecting coastal Louisiana. A panel of scientists and resource managers closed the conference with an informative and fact-based presentation on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, providing perspectives on response efforts and the potential for future effects.
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