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NEWSROOM > PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Gulf of Mexico Foundation
President's Message

by Dr. Quenton Dokken, GMF President/CEO

October 2010 - It has been a hectic summer! As the Foundationís restoration and education programs continued to grow, we were faced with the specter of the Macondo Well blowout in April. I was in Mexico when this occurred, and having been a lead field technician during the IXTOC I well blowout in 1979, I had a good idea of what was about to transpire. All-in-all; I would have rather stayed in Mexico until it was over. As soon as I hit the airport in Cozumel for my return flight the phone began to ring, and it continued to do so for the next four months.

Dr. Quenton DokkenWe at the GMF took a position that reporting should be based on facts and the whole truth. This was not always a popular stance, but I am glad we did and would do the same if I were to do it again. Too often speculation and half truths drove public opinion. In science, a question is asked, a hypothesis is formulated to test the question, a methodology is established to test the hypothesis, data is collected and analyzed, and a truth is reported based on this scientific pursuit of facts. During the Macondo response, too often the question was put on the front page as fact. This only served to confuse us all.

Unfortunately, the GMF had to cancel its summer teacher programs, Down Under Out Yonder and the Intracoastal Waterway Wetlands Cruise when our support vessel, the M/V Fling, was recruited to assist with the oil spill response effort. But donít despair - we are already working on the 2011 teachersí cruises.

For a small staff we cover a lot of territory. GMF's staff members are constantly moving throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. And, I have agreed to assist Marathon Oil with a fisheries development project in Equatorial Guinea on the west coast of Africa. This sounds like a far stretch for the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, but hurricanes and dust storms that impact the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico originate in this area of Africa. And, being a Spanish-speaking country, it is a nice link to our Science and Spanish Club Network.

Hopefully by early 2011, I will be able to announce some very exciting developments that will carry the GMF into the future. We are working on developing and funding these projects, and I donít want to jinx them by exposing them too soon. I can say this: if we succeed in bringing these projects to fruition they could potentially change and elevate marine education and the public's awareness of it significantly.

Until next time, remember Ė the Gulf of Mexico Foundation is working to establish and sustain the quality of life we desire for ourselves and for our grandchildren. This quality of life requires both robust economies and healthy environments. We need your help. Please Donate to the GMF. Your support goes a long way to fulfilling the mission of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

-Dr. Quenton Dokken
 GMF Executive Director

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
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