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.
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.
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.
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
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
GMF, Port of CC host reception for GOMA
Attendees enjoy reception, mingle with colleges
> CLICK TO VIEW
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
the 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
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
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
Workshop unites Gulf restoration efforts
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.
Governors' Action Plans spur cooperation
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
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.
brings 400 distinguished leaders to table
The summit's purpose included:
- Insert the state of the Gulf of Mexico into the international spotlight.
Expand awareness of the socioeconomic and ecological value of the Gulf of Mexico and its importance to a sustainable desired quality of life.
Build partnerships for proactive management.
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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,
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
webmaster: Carrie Robertson