Gulf of Mexico Foundation



Board of Directors




Gulf of Mexico Foundation


Rowan profiles GMF
in magazine article

Oil company encourages its staff to get involved

Rowan article on GMF HOUSTON, TX - In its second quarter publication of its in-house magazine, Grapevine, Rowan Companies, Inc. profiled the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. Rowan is on the GMF's CEO Council, the top level in GMF partnerships. The GMF's President Paul Kelly is a retired Senior Vice President of Rowan. Aimed at Rowan employees, the article included information about the Foundation's programs as well as how to become a part of the GMF's mission by working as a volunteer. READ ARTICLE (PDF)

Bahia Grande Restoration receives award
GMF partner in project through CRP Project 2008

Bahia Grande Restoration Partnership receives Texas Environmental Excellence Award
Bahia Grande Restoration Partnership representatives accept the 2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Award presented by the TCEQ. Pictured from left: Commissioner Bryan Shaw, Ocean Trust's Thor Lassen, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, TCEQ Chairman Buddy Garcia, Commissioner Larry Soward.

APRIL 30, 2021 - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality presented representatives from the Bahia Grande Restoration Partnership with the 2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Award (TEEA) during a ceremony held in Austin. The award will be on display at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Signed by Gov. Rick Perry, the award was presented to the Bahia Grande Restoration Partnership for "taking care of Texas through outstanding efforts in environmental protection and pollution prevention."

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation contributed to the Bahia Grande Restoration project by awarding Ocean Trust with a Community-based Restoration Project grant in 2003 for $44,940. The CRP project initiated re-vegetation work needed to stabilize soil and reestablish ecological functions of Bahia Grande. It also worked to establish a community coalition to support the restoration process. Project leaders recruited local biology teachers to participate in classroom mangrove restoration projects for Bahia Grande in all three neighboring school systems of Brownsville, Los Fresnos, and Port Isabel, Texas. Read More.

The Bahia Grande Restoration project has won the Coastal America Award from the White House, the Gulf Guardian Award from the EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program, and now the Texas Environmental Excellence Award. The TEEA is bestowed on groups or individuals who are involved in exemplary projects which improve the environment in our state. The Bahia Grande Restoration Project has been working for more than four years to revive nearly 30,000 acres of arid wasteland to return it to its once pristine state as a beautiful, productive ecosystem. This endeavor is unique because of the enormous diversity of its partners: government entities, universities, JASON Project schools, research scientists, businesses, foundations, and private individuals.

The restoration of the Bahia Grande is not finished. A permanent channel (10 times the size of the pilot channel that connects the Brownsville ship channel to the Bahia Grande) will be constructed in 2009. Planting a million native wetland plants around the perimeter of the flooded areas will take another eight years. Project partners plan to start experiments with propagating native sea grasses within the next year for transplanting to the flooded areas.

Transocean video highlights GMF
Video to be used as part of company’s awareness program

Transocean videoTransocean, a CEO Council level partner with the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, has created a new video clip explaining the company’s involvement in the Foundation. The short video clip will be streamed from the corporate website and also is being used as part of the company’s awareness program and induction training for employees on the rigs and in offices.

Click here to watch video clip
   (MOV 30 seconds, 1451 KB)

ConocoPhillips donates to DUOY
GMF's coral reef education program gets a boost

GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken, left, receives
a check from Dan Smallwood of ConocoPhillips for $50,000
to support GMF coral reef education.

ConocoPhillipsHOUSTON, TX, Feb 5, 2021 - ConocoPhillips donated $50,000 to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation to support the foundation's 2008 coral reef education programs aimed at teachers. ConocoPhillips is a multiyear sponsor of the Down Under Out Yonder Teacher Education Program which is in its 14th year. This year the program will be expanded to include discussions of coastal and watershed environmental issues. Read more about Down Under, Out Yonder and Corals to Classrooms on the GMF's DUOY webpage.

Photographer Franklin Viola wins award
GMF volunteer travels globe capturing images

© Franklin Viola
Franklin Viola's photo of a manta ray feeding won first place in the Pro's division of the Underwater Life category in the National Wildlife magazine Photo Contest.

January 2008 - Photographer Franklin Viola, a Gulf of Mexico Foundation volunteer for many years, was awarded first place in the Pro Division of the National Wildlife Magazine Photo Contest in November 2007. He has received numerous national and international awards for his underwater photography over the past two decades.Franklin Viola

Since 1965, water has influenced every step of Viola’s life -- swimming in it, surfing on it, diving under it, sailing over it. After receiving a BS in Marine Science & Marine Transportation at Texas A&M; University at Galveston in 1982, Viola served four years in the U.S. Merchant Marine, sailing aboard huge cargo ships as a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Third Mate (Unlimited Tonnage).

Returning to terra firma (“the beach”) in 1986, he focused his love of water -- salt or fresh, ocean or pond, river or lake -- through the optics of a camera. Viola produces still photography and digital video for clients who use water to tell their story or to sell their product. His clients include Audubon, National Geographic, Travel Holiday, Islands, Discovery Channel Online, Sport Diver, The Nature Conservancy, American Express, Epson, BP Oil & Gas, Turner Broadcasting, Hitachi and Delta Airlines.

In it, on it, under it or over it, water is Franklin Viola’s studio. To see more of Franklin’s photography visit Click on "Unplugged" to sign up to receive via email his "Photo of the Day" which features a recent photo he has taken which range in subject matter from an exotic location to his own backyard.


GMF, Port of CC host reception for GOMA
Attendees enjoy reception, mingle with colleges

GMF's GOMA Reception
December 2007

Oceaneering partners with GMF

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX,  September 2007 - T. Jay Collins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering International, Inc.,, stated “We are delighted to join the Gulf of Mexico Foundation as part of our global commitment to protect Oceaneering International Incthe environments, including the world’s bodies of water, in which we work. As a provider of services and products used in the exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas reserves, we are very much a part of the Gulf States community. Consequently, we recognize the importance of protecting the environment as a prerequisite to the continued success of our operations and maintaining a quality of life for all who reside there.”

GMF sponsors culinary, wine festival
View photos from premiere event

The Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival blends premium wines, gourmet food, and Gulf coast culture into a sophisticated, educational and entertaining weekend-long event. Each year the festival visits several Gulf coast cities, celebrating Southern Breeze Wine+Culinary Festivalthe lifestyle and culture of this unique region.

Because both the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and Southern Breeze Magazine, which hosts the event, believe that the quality of the natural environment equates to quality of life, the GMF is a sponsor of the event. When working together, we can ensure the continued beauty of our coastal region.

The fourth annual Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival (formerly the Coastal Wine Tour) culminated in quaint beachside community of Rosemary Beach, Florida October 19-21, 2007. Previous stops for the festival this year included Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Orange Beach, Alabama.

“The Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival is unique among food and wine events because it incorporates a variety of new and exciting experiences over the span of several days in a unique coastal setting,” said Southern Breeze Publisher and Compass Marketing President J. Gary Ellis, who is also a GMF board member.

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation's Executive Director, Dr. Quenton Dokken, left, joined Compass Marketing President J. Gary Ellis (and GMF board member) to kick off the Wine+Culinary Festival in Oct 2005.

For more information about the Southern Breeze Wine+Culinary Festival, visit or call 800-239-9880.

Workshop unites Gulf restoration efforts
Governors' Action Plans spur cooperation

GALVESTON, TX, May 24, 2021 - As a follow-up to the publication of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Governors’ Action Plan, the GMF organized and hosted the third meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Regional Restoration Coordination Team held in Galveston, Texas May 22-24.

GMF's Executive Director Quenton Dokken and staff members Kathryn Tunnell and Bobbi Reed participated in the workshop, which included than 50 attendees, including eight representatives from Mexico. The conference focused on restoration and preservation activities in Texas, on preservation and coastal and habitat restoration efforts in Mexico, and on ways to implement the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors’ Action Plan as it relates to restoration efforts. The team is looking at ways to integrate activities and efforts between Mexico and the U.S. The next state-led RRCT workshop is scheduled for the week of August 20 in St. Petersburg, Florida..

The long-term goal of the team is to facilitate restoration of coastal habitats throughout the Gulf of Mexico through increased cooperation between the individual governing units, natural resource agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Governors’ Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts
Spanish version (ms word)      English version (pdf)

Visit the Gulf of Mexico Alliance website.

State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit
brings 400 distinguished leaders to table

The State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit held March 28-30, 2006, in Corpus Christi, Texas, brought together about 400 top leaders in science, business and government to focus attention on the state of the Gulf of Mexico. As a VIP event, governors from several of the gulf states of the US and Mexico anchored the participant list, including Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Mexican governors Eugenio Hernandez from Tamaulipas and Fidel Herrera from Veracruz. Other guests included CEOs of international industries, academic institutions, government agencies, and conservation organizations joined them to present a vision of the current and future status of the Gulf of Mexico.

The summit's purpose included:

  1. Insert the state of the Gulf of Mexico into the international spotlight.
  2. Expand awareness of the socioeconomic and ecological value of the Gulf of Mexico and its importance to a sustainable desired quality of life.
  3. Build partnerships for proactive management.
  4. Establish a strategy for ensuring the ecological and socioeconomic health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.

To advance public awareness, media was invited to report on the proceedings and perhaps broadcast some of the program live across the United States and Mexico. A published report on the State of the Gulf of Mexico will be crafted for broad distribution. An action agenda for future efforts will be issued. Area newspapers, TV stations and other local media filed reports throughout the event.

Bryon Griffith, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program (left), visits with Stephen Johnson, Administrator of the US EPA, during the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit March 28, 2006.
Carrie Robertson photo

Hosted by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, co-hosts included state governors, private industry, state and federal government agencies, conservation organizations and academic institutions. Representatives from the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, including Dr. Quenton Dokken, Kendal Keyes, Bobbi Reed, Gail Sutton, Richard Gonzales and Carrie Robertson also attended and assisted in various aspects of planning and coordinating the event.

For more information, visit:

Rowan, BP donate to GMF programs

HOUSTON, TX - Representatives from both BP and Rowan Companies donated funds to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation during a reception hosted by Rowan Companies at Houston's Petroleum Club on Nov 2, 2005.
Hugh DePland of BP presents John LaRue with check. Richard Gonzales photo
Nov 2005 - GMF President John LaRue accepts a check from BP's Hugh Depland (left) at a recent reception. Rowan's Paul Kelly (right) also presented a check. Richard Gonzales photo

Hugh DePland of BP presented a check for $30,000 to be used for education program development, while Rowan Company's Paul Kelly presented a check for $25,000 earmarked for program support during the GMF's fall reception in Houston.

Six months later, in May 2006, Rowan presented GMF's Executive Director Quenton Dokken with a second check for $25,000 during a meeting at Rowan's Houston headquarters.

Paul Kelly of Rowan, who is also a member of the GMF board, explains the company's dedication to the Gulf. "As a leading offshore drilling contractor in the Gulf of Mexico, Rowan feels very much a part of the Gulf States community and further recognizes that environmental sustainability and economic sustainability must go hand in hand during the 21st century if we are to maintain a good quality of life for all our citizens, including our employees," he said.

Rowan's Danny McNease presents Dr. Quenton Dokken, GMF's Executive Director, with a check.
May 2006 - Rowan's CEO Danny McNease presents Dr. Quenton Dokken, GMF's Executive Director, with a check for $25,000 during a meeting at Rowan's headquarters.

Kelly continued, "Rowan's management and board of directors is very impressed with the projects of the GMF and wants to encourage the Foundation's growth. We also wish to be an example to the private sector that the institutions now forming an alliance to sustain the Gulf's future must include the various industries that depend on the Gulf's resources for their business."

The GMF extends its thanks to partners such as BP and Rowan for their generous support.

GMF's efforts recognized in magazine
TCEQ newsletter touts partnerships in Gulf of Mexico

Excerpt from article in Fall 2004 issue of Natural Outlook, newsletter of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Another important partner in the network is the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a private, nonprofit in Corpus Christi that supports restoration projects in all five Gulf states. Bahia Grande is one of 18 habitat restoration projects that the foundation has supported since 2002.

Quenton Dokken, the foundation's executive director, explained the significance of the Gulf network: "If it was the Gulf of Mexico Program by itself, NOAA by itself, or any individual organization by itself, habitat restoration along the Gulf would be a small program. But by leveraging funds and resources, we have been able to get more than $2 million invested over the last two years. None of us working alone would have been able to do that."

To read the rest of this article, click here: TCEQ.

GMF subject of film produced by
Teaching Learning Network partnership

Voices of Vision profiles Gulf of Mexico Foundation

The production crew from the Teaching Learning Network recently returned from Texas, where they shot an episode highlighting the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Down Under, Out Yonder educational program. The GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken assisted with the film project, working on a script and storyboard for the video filming. The film crew took footage offshore and also filmed the GMF's Science & Spanish Clubs.

The program is designed for teachers and includes workshops as well as three days at sea, scuba diving off a 120-foot-long vessel. The purpose of the program is to give educators a “hands-on” experience, so they may encourage an interest in and conservation of these important habitats.

The television show is in the final stages of post-production and can be seen nationally on local public television stations this fall (check local listings). For more information, visit the Teaching Learning Network website.

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail:     website:
webmaster: Carrie Robertson



Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

BP America


Devon Energy

Leon Loeb, Landlord Resources

Marathon Oil

Oceaneering International

Rowan Companies, Inc.

Shell Oil

Transocean Inc.

FMC Technologies
Marti Powers, BP
Trull Foundation

Marcus Allen
Coastal America Fnd
Quenton Dokken
Colie Donaldson
Rick Fowler, Dominion
Paul Kelly
Port of Corpus Christi
Pt Isabel Economic Dev
3M Corporation
Mary Yturria

Carneiro, Chumney
Gary Ellis
Harte Research Institute
Richard Fowler

Joseph Dial

NOAA Restoration Cntr
Gulf of Mexico Program

Newfield Foundation
Disney WCF

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