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Gulf News Winter 2008
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 Quarterly newsletter from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Dokken, Herrera meet in Mexico about summit
Gulf of Mexico Summit
This winter GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken traveled to Veracruz, Mexico, to meet with officials to discuss possible opportunities for Veracruz Governor Fidel Herrera Beltrán to host the next State of the Gulf Summit. Dokken was joined by Dr. Robert Furgason of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI). Governor Herrera is considering hosting a similar summit in 2009 in collaboration with the GMF and HRI. The State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit 2006 was held at the HRI.
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America's Sea – Keep It Shining!
PARTNERSHIPS
Forum focuses on sustainability
Paul Kelly, GMF President of the Board
GMF's President Paul Kelly speaks during an Industry Forum hosted by the GMF in Houston in Nov.
November 2007 - On November 6, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation hosted an Industry Forum luncheon at the Houston Petroleum Club for more than 70 representatives of industry. The event was sponsored by the GMF CEO Council partners who include BP, Marathon, Oceaneering, Rowan, Transocean and Shell. The focus of the forum was the economic and environmental sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico. Speakers included Director of the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program Bryon Griffith, GMF Board President Paul Kelly, and GMF Executive Director Quenton Dokken. Masters of Ceremony were Ian Hudson of Transocean and Marti Powers of BP. The forum provided an opportunity for oil and gas industry reps to become better acquainted with GMF activities. Dr. Dokken pointed out that as major stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico, energy industries have a unique opportunity and ability to provide leadership toward a sustainable future for both economic and environmental productivity.
 
ConocoPhillips donates $50,000 to teacher education
ConocoPhillips donates $50,000 to GMFFebruary 2008 - GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken (left) accepted a check for $50,000 from Dan Smallwood of ConocoPhillips in Houston. The money will support the GMF's 2008 coral reef education program aimed at educators called "Down Under, Out Yonder," which takes teachers diving to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. READ MORE
GMF hosts GOMA regional meeting, welcome reception
December 2007 - The GMF hosted the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Community Resiliency Group meeting in Corpus Christi December 11-13. GOMA Community Resiliency Group receptionAs part of GOMA, the Community Resiliency Group works closely with the Alliance’s Regional Restoration Coordination Team on issues relevant to habitat and wetlands restoration and conservation. The GMF, with the support of the Port of Corpus Christi, hosted a welcome reception at the OMNI Hotel for the members of the Community Resiliency Group on the eve of the start of their workshop. The evening provided an opportunity to network and socialize for the meeting participants prior to the start-up of their discussions. READ MORE
DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Foundation forms new partnerships, programs progress
February 2008 - We are now firmly into 2008 and the year is starting off with a bang! Marathon Oil, Inc. has joined our CEO Council of supporters and several other companies, including Petrobras and Anadarko, are considering corporate memberships. BP America, Inc. is going to be the lead sponsor of the GMF Science & Spanish Club Network Student Environmental Leadership Conference in May. This level of sponsorship will expand the SSCN program significantly with student and teacher training programs and scholarships for students following technical career paths. In the not too distant future participating clubs will ring the Gulf of Mexico.READ MORE
EDUCATION
S&S; Club students raise awareness of marine debris
S&S Club members march in parade
February 2008 - The "river dragon" makes it way up and down the Texas Coastal Bend on Feb 16 as GMF Science & Spanish Club members marched in the 3rd Annual Dairy Queen Redfish Bay Trash Parade in Ingleside and Aransas Pass. More than 180 students braved the windy day and proceeded to participate in the Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup and marsh grass transplanting restoration at Goose Island State Park. READ MORE
RESTORATION
CRP Update: eight new projects underway
January 2008 - the GMF kicked off its seventh year of administering the Community-based Habitat Restoration Program, a partnership with NOAA and the EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program, by funding six Gulf of Mexico projects and two Caribbean projects. The grant program awarded $298,000 to restore 241 acres of wetland and coastal habitat. The projects, located in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, include the restoration of dune, beach, coastal marsh, oyster bar and mangrove habitats. This year's projects will leverage more than $500,000 in non-federal match funding and will contribute over 5,500 volunteer hours to restoration projects. READ MORE
HOME OWNERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
CRP project focus: Galveston shoreline restoration
The Isla Del Sole Property Owner’s Association in Galveston, Texas, completed its shoreline protection and marsh restoration project CRP #5007 in Isla Del Sol Restoration ProjectAugust 2007. In June 2006 the GMF awarded $50,000 to the association to utilize sediment from maintenance dredging of the community’s boat channel to fill geo-textile fiber tubes, which were placed offshore to restore 12 acres of protected marsh habitat. (See photo right.) Homeowners and volunteers from the surrounding community got involved by planting marsh grass along shorelines. Isla Del Sol Home Owners Association President Joe Santangelo said about the project: "This project really pulled the subdivision together. We are all very proud and happy to complete this restoration project, both for the canal and the environment. The birds that have been brought in by this project are phenomenal, and people go out to the fishing pier just to watch them.” For more information on the success of this project, please visit Isla Del Sol online. READ MORE
STAFF
Ryan Fikes steps in as new GMF Project Coordinator

GMF's Ryan Fikes, right, joins GMF Science & Spanish Club members in the field.
January 2007 - Ryan Fikes joined the Foundation staff as Project Coordinator in January, taking the place of Kathryn Tunnell. Previously, Fikes worked as a lab assistant at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he will receive his Master’s degree in biology in May 2008. “I am very excited to be working with the Gulf of Mexico Foundation," Fikes said, adding, "For many years I have been studying the ecology of coastal habitats. Now I have the opportunity to take a proactive role in making sure those habitats are around for future generations to enjoy.” Fikes got his feet wet right away, as one of his first tasks at the GMF was to help out with a restoration project at Goose Island State Park near Rockport, Texas, joining middle school students from the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network. Together, they transplanted salt marsh grass plants, Spartina alterniflora, into the area. Although it operates under other funding sources now, the Goose Island marsh restoration project continues the work initiated by CRP Project #3007 funded by the GMF in 2004. READ MORE
BOARD
Board of Directors meets in Brownsville Feb 27-28
Bahia Grande Restoration Project
Science & Spanish Club faculty sponsor Carson Crook, center, gives GMF Board members and staff an update on the project that his students from Brownsville, Texas, are involved in. The students have been cultivating black mangrove seedlings as part of the Bahia Grande Restoration Project.
Feb 2008 – The GMF held its first 2008 Board of Directors meeting at the Rancho Viejo Resort in Brownsville, Texas, on Feb 27 and 28. The meeting included a visit to one of the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network nearby projects in which students are raising mangroves to transplant as part of the Bahia Grande Restoration Project. The GMF hosted a reception for local business people and university representatives and a roundtable, where members of oil and gas, ports and other industries came together to discuss ways that their employees could volunteer for GMF projects. The director of the Port Isabel-San Benito Navigation District spoke to the board about the social challenges faced in the Brownsville area and described the impacts to the area from the expanding offshore oil and gas developments. Other speakers briefed the board about the problem of abandoned vessels and structures along the Texas Coast. READ MORE
 
Board welcomes new member Marcus Allen
Marcus J. AllenFeb 2008 – Marcus J. Allen joined the GMF's Board of Directors this year. He has been President of Marathon Oil Company since 2007. Previously, he held several different roles since joining Marathon in 2002 including director of the company's Subsea Project, in which he ran several concurrent deep-water projects. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station, graduating summa cum laude. His interests include spending time with wife and two sons, running, outdoor activities and community programs. READ MORE
Gulf Guardian Awards applications available online
Gulf Guardian AwardsFebruary 2008 - Entry forms for the Gulf of Mexico Program's 2008 Gulf Guardian Awards are now available online in both Spanish and English. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2008. This marks the ninth year for the awards program, which recognizes and honors the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. READ MORE
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