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Gulf of Mexico Foundation
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GMF takes part in GOMA HCRT meetings
December 2009 - The GMF has coordinated several meetings for the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT) this fall. The HCRT is a group formed by the Gulf of Mexico AllianceGulf of Mexico Alliance, of which the GMF is a part. A Core Group working session was held in New Orleans September 22-23 to develop plans and objectives for the new three-year budgeted work plan. On October 13-15, the group held a Federal Standard Workshop in New Orleans. That meeting provided an opportunity for the HCRT, the Corps of Engineers and other interested agencies and organizations to share information on how the Federal Standard is applied with regard to beneficial use of dredge materials, such as for restoration projects, and the issues and challenges surrounding that issue. The full HCRT Committee met December 8-9 to discuss collaboration activities from organizations and individuals that are working on HCRT-relevant issues. They also conducted strategic planning for the next three years of the effort.

GMF Director travels around Gulf and beyond
December 2009 - In addition to participating in Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team (HCRT) meetings Dr. Quenton Dokkenthis fall, HRI's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken participated in September in a Nutrient Reduction Workshop sponsored by the GOMA Nutrient Priority Issue Teams (PIT) to work on development of a Coastal Nutrient Reduction Strategy Template that may be utilized by the Gulf States in addressing nutrient inputs and impacts.
   He participated in meetings in San Antonio, Texas, and Los Angeles, California, on the Ultra-deepwater Advisory Committee (UDAC) of the US Department of Energy. Dokken is completing his second term as a member of UDAC. In late October, he attended the Interagency Ocean Policy Talk Force Public Meeting in New Orleans and provided comments on proposed ocean policy being considered.
   In November, Dokken traveled to Mexico City to meet with government officials on future collaborations, and he accepted an invitation from MARECSA for a VIP tour of a new oil spill response and recovery vessel in Veracruz, Mexico. Mexican Navy authorities, PEMEX representatives and the President of the Maritime Commission for the Mexican Senate were also on the tour.
   2010 looks as though it will be a busy year for Dokken with meetings scheduled right after the first of the year in Houston, the Keys in Florida, and New Orleans.

Smith presents project plans to SARP leadership
May 2009 - GMF Project Manager Mikell Smith attended meetings of the Steering Committee and Science and Data Committee of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) in May to present his plans for a watershed-scale study funded by the group. In late March, SARP awarded the GMF $50,000 to fund this work.
   Focused on the Sabine and Red River basins, theSARP GMF SARP study will identify threats to aquatic resources and assess the state of conservation efforts in the area of interest. Smith developed a survey designed to reveal preferences and to elicit knowledge from a broad range of stakeholders who use, manage and rely on these systems. The survey will be administered electronically via email as well as in person at a series of public meetings to be held over the course of the summer.
   SARP Steering Committee members approved the GMF’s approach, which aims to include all groups involved in use of the waters, the species and the lands surrounding them. GMF believes the success of conservation efforts requires giving everyone a voice, and the SARP leadership agreed. In addition to resource managers, conservationists and scientists, Smith is drawing in landowners, farmers and ranchers, land use planners, economic development groups, citizen groups, recreational fishing, tourism and any other entities with a stake in the resources involved. While in East Texas for the committee meeting, Smith visited several counties along the upper Sabine, making contact with farming, economic development and sports fishing stakeholders. An awareness of water-related issues, coupled with SARP’s emphasis on preserving human uses of aquatic resources, facilitated a favorable response.
   SARP Project AreaBased on a perceived need for collaborative management at a regional scale, SARP developed the Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan (SAHP), which sets targets and strategies for improving the health and availability of aquatic resources in the 13 states that make up the region. SARP is an officially recognized partnership under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) and “envisions itself as a regional framework for helping initiate planning and partnership development for protecting and [restoring] aquatic resources as was accomplished with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) (SARP MOU 2001)”. NAWMP is lauded for its success in aiding the recovery of North American waterfowl populations through large-scale coordination of public and private resources. SARP seeks to repeat that success for aquatic resources in the Southeast United States, which contains 34 percent of the fish species found in North America.
   On completion of the Sabine/Red River study, GMF will suggest targets and strategies for the Sabine and Red River basins based on what is learned. In addition to the stakeholder feedback, a review of existing action plans and reports will inform the final report, which will be presented to SARP in early November. The National Wetlands Research Center, USGS, located in New Orleans, is compiling data and creating a GIS-based resource for the Neches River basin as well as in the GMF project area. These two initiatives aspire to set the template for future, similar work across the region. Smith hopes the stakeholder project will engage the diversity of interests present in the watershed in collaborative stewardship as much as it informs the adaptive management process. GMF'S SARP PAGE

GMF participates in GOMA 'all-hands' meeting
August 2008 - The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) held its annual meeting in Corpus Christi Texas from August 20-21, 2008. The Implementation and Integration Workshop for the Governor’s Action Plan provided an opportunity
Paul Kelly seaks to GOMA
GMF President Paul Kelly speaks at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance "all-hands" meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, Aug 20-21.
for each of the five Gulf of Mexico focus area teams to report on actions to date and present plans for the coming year. GMF Board President, Paul Kelly, gave the opening speech on “The Gulf of Mexico Alliance from a National Perspective.” The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, as a part of its grant with the Environmental Protection Agency, hosted and coordinated conference pre-meetings and conference sessions for the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team. Dr. Quenton Dokken, Ryan Fikes and Bobbi Reed attended the conference and team meetings. Richard Gonzales, SSCN Coordinator, also participated in the Environmental Education Team meetings.
   During the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi in August, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and the Port of Corpus Christi hosted a dinner for representatives from the Governor’s office in Veracruz, Mexico, local and State dignitaries, and officials with the Port and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The social evening provided an opportunity for Sr. Cesar Gonzalez, Director of Tourism for the State of Veracruz, to provide updated information on the plans for the 2009 Veracruz State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit.

Dokken meets with Mexico gov on Summit plans

March 2008 - GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken and the Harte Research Institute's Executive Director Dr. Robert Furgason met on March 21 with Governor Fidel Herrera of Veracruz and his staff, along with Secretary of Tourism and Culture Ivan Hillman and Secretary of Finance and Planning Rafael Arias. During the meeting, Governor Herrera gave the "go ahead" to plan and host the next "State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit" to be held in Veracruz in February 2009. Hillman will be the lead person for the Governor. The Governor is very anxious that the U.S. participate in this Summit and will be submitting invitations to the U.S. and Mexico gulf state governors and mayors of coastal cities. U.S. interests will also be invited to participate in the planning. The last Gulf of Mexico Summit was held in 2006 at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Executive Director helps plan Mexico summit
January 2008 - During the fall of 2007 and in January of 2008, GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken traveled to Veracruz, Mexico, to meet with representatives of the Governor’s staff to discuss possible opportunities for Governor Herrera to host the next State of the Gulf Summit. Dr. Robert Furgason, Executive Director for Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, accompanied Dr. Dokken. Governor Herrera is considering hosting such a Summit in 2009 in collaboration with the GMF and HRI.

GMF hosts GOMA 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 reception2007. As 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. Dr. Furgason and Dr. Earle of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies attended the event as well as HRI's Dr. Wes Tunnell, Dr. Richard McLaughlin, and Dr. Tom Shirley.

GMF hosts Industry Forum luncheon in Houston

GMF Staff members at the Industry Forum. From left, Bobbi Reed,
Laura Bodenheimer, Paul Kelly, Quenton Dokken and Kathryn Tunnell.

November 2007
- On November 6, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation hosted an Industry Forum luncheon at the Houston Petroleum Club for over 70 representatives of industry. Members of the GMF CEO Council sponsored the event. Our CEO partners 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 Dr. Quenton Dokken. Masters of Ceremony were Ian Hudson with Transocean and Marti Powers with BP. The Industry Form provided an opportunity for members of the oil and gas industry to become better acquainted with the activities of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. 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.

GMF Board meets in St. Petersburg
November 2007 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation Board of Directors met in St. Petersburg, Florida, November 13 and 14, 2007. The meeting took place at the St. Petersburg Hilton Hotel. On the first day, members of the Board took a tour by airboat of Pinellas County shoreline area showing the tremendous increases in development in the area. The tour was conducted by Dr. Randy Runnels with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In the evening, several brave Board members went on an evening kayak trip to survey remote mangrove areas. They enjoyed a picnic dinner in the moonlight with their kayaks nestled among the mangroves. On the second day of the meeting, guest speakers provided an overview of restoration activities in the local area. They were Brandt Hennigsten with the Southwest Florida Water Management Division, who spoke on surface water improvement and management programs in the area, and Dr. Bruce Rinker with Pinellas County Lands Division who spoke on the Booker Creek Preserve. That evening, Board Members attended the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program’s Gulf Guardian Awards. The GMF sponsored the reception honoring the awardees, who received their awards for their efforts in conservation and restoration work along the Gulf of Mexico, including a winner from Mexico.

Dokken meets with reps in Mexico about environment
October 2007 - In August and again in October, GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken traveled to Mexico to meet with representatives of local communities and states regarding environmental issues of concern to all communities within the Gulf of Mexico. Such issues as coastal pollution, population growth along the coasts and upstream river flows were discussed. In August, Dr. Dokken met with staff members from the office of Gov. Fidel Herrera Beltrán of Veracruz. In October, Dr. Dokken and Dr. Robert Furgason, Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, met with Governor Hererra to discuss potential cooperative efforts among the gulf states in the United States and in Mexico.

GMF staff travels to Florida to host RRCT workshop
GOMA reps, Sept 2007. Kendal Keyes photo
State representatives dine while at the September GOMA meeting in St Petersburg. From left are: Carl Ferraro, Alabama; Greg DuCote, Louisiana; George Ramseur, Mississippi; Andy Sanderson, Mississippi GEMS Manager; Woody Woodrow, Texas; Quenton Dokken, Texas; Randy Runnels, Florida.
Kendal Keyes photo
Sept 2007 - GMF staff members Dr. Quenton Dokken, Bobbi Reed and Kathryn Tunnell traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida, to host the last in a series of state-lead Regional Restoration Coordination Team workshops at Weedon Island Preserve Sept 22-25. Under a grant awarded to the GMF by the Environmental Protection Agency, the GMF is tasked with organizing and facilitating a series of meetings to be held in each of the gulf states to identify needs and priorities for coastal habitat restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.

PHOTO: Randy Runnels, Florida’s RRCT State Lead, guides a group kayak tour through Terra Ceia.
Photo courtesy TPWD

The Florida/Caribbean workshop included a field trip to familiarize other state natural resource managers with Florida restoration and conservation projects, as well as issues and challenges that the state faces. The field trip was followed by presentations from natural resource managers and scientists from the gulf states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. During the workshop, natural resource managers from across the gulf region discussed parallel problems and challenges, possible solutions and the implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governor’s Action Plan.

Working group meets to identify RRCT's mission, goals
Sept 2007 - GMF's Dr. Quenton Dokken attended the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Community Resilience Working Group meeting held at the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources in Biloxi. The group was formed to work on issues relevant to the GOMA’s Regional Restoration Coordination Team. Work focused on identifying the mission and goals envisioned for the group.

Dokken attends GOMA governor's meeting in Mississippi
August 2007 - In August, GMF's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken attended the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governor’s meeting in Biloxi hosted by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Representatives of the five gulf states, federal government agencies, several members of congress and nonprofit organizations attended. The meeting, entitled “Building Upon a Successful Federal-State Partnership,” highlighted the successes to date that have been achieved through the Alliance efforts. The group pledged support for continuation of the effort and looked to the future in the development of a new five-year plan and legislative strategy.

GMF Board meets in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, LA, August, 2007 – The Gulf of Mexico Foundation Board of Directors held its summer meeting on August 7 and 8 in New Orleans, Louisiana. On August 7, ConocoPhillips hosted an all-day tour by boat for the board members of the Southeast Louisiana fee lands which the company owns. They own approximately 640,000 acres, all coastal marsh land. The tour provided an opportunity to identify the challenges faced in managing coastal properties with many diverse stakeholder interests. Many thanks go to Dan Smallwood and Kermit Coulon with ConocoPhillips for their efforts in making this an interesting and enjoyable field trip. Greg DuCote with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources also assisted in the field trip, and provided an overview of the coastal restoration efforts ongoing in the state. A number of different approaches to coastal restoration were shown on the tour. That evening, GMF board member Marti Powers and BP-America hosted a dinner for board members and guests at the Grand Isle Restaurant. This provided an opportunity to socialize, network and share thoughts and impressions from the day’s field trip. On August 8, the GMF Board conducted its quarterly business meeting at the offices of Shell Exploration and Production in New Orleans. Fred Palmer with Shell E&P, and Kevin MvEvoy with Oceaneering International, Inc., were approved for membership to the board.

Dokken part of international scientific forum in Mexico
Coatzacoalcos, Mexico
- June 1, 2021 - GMF's Executive Director Quenton Dokken participated in the Third International Meeting of the Sea 2007 Scientific Forum in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. The gathering included mayors and leaders of municipalities around the Gulf of Mexico, including speakers from Mexico, the United States, Chile and Cuba. Topics included the use of waters of the sea; models of coastal development, and the impact of the climatic change in the coastal cities of Mexico. Dr. Dokken and Dr. John Jacob with Texas Sea Grant led a panel discussion called, "Habitat Conservation and Restoration: The Need for a Gulf-wide Alliance of Local Governments." Dr. Cuauhtémoc León Diez with CONABIO served as moderator for that portion of the program.

Dokken meets with Veracruz governor’s staff
VERACRUZ, MEXICO - March 10, 2021 - GMF's Executive Director Quenton Dokken met with Rafael Arias, Secretary for Finance and Planning in Governor Fidel Herrera’s administration, in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, to discuss opportunities for US and Mexican collaborative efforts on environmental issues around the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Arias will be a speaker at the July meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida, and will talk about Governor Herrera’s interest and commitment to address environmental challenges in the State of Veracruz. The Governor’s office plans to host local meetings throughout the State to speak on topic areas identified in the first Gulf of Mexico Summit held in Corpus Christi, Texas, in March of 2006. Those topic areas are:
    • economic development and stability
    • environmental health and sustainability
    • public health
    • policy
Dr. Dokken will work with the Veracruz Governor’s office in support of their environmental efforts as they relate to the Gulf of Mexico.

GMF coordinates Alliance RRCT workshop
SPANISH FORT, AL - March 10, 2021 - During the week of March 5-9, 2007, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation coordinated a Gulf of Mexico Alliance Regional Restoration Coordination Team Workshop in Spanish Fort, Alabama. GMF's Executive Director Quenton Dokken, Project Coordinator Kathryn Tunnell and Executive Assistant Bobbi Reed participated in the workshop.
   Under a grant recently awarded to the GMF by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Foundation is tasked with organizing and facilitating a series of meetings to be held in each of the Gulf States in order to identify needs and priorities for coastal habitat restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting was held in the beautiful, new Five Rivers Delta Resource Center owned by the State of Alabama.
   Day 1 was dedicated to issues and needs identified by the State of Alabama. Day 2 focused on the needs and priorities for the State of Mississippi. Each of the states brought in experts to speak on topics of interest. The last day and a half of the workshop was facilitated by the Corps of Engineers and dealt with planning for a Gulf of Mexico Regional Sediment Management Master Plan.
   The next GOM RRCT meeting will be held in Galveston, Texas, May 22-24, 2007.

GMF director speaks to Alabama eco group
GULF SHORES, AL - Jan 21, 2021 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation's Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken traveled to Gulf Shores, Alabama, on January 18-21. He was the keynote speaker at the Wolf Bay Watershed Watch annual meeting in Elberta, Alabama, on January 20.
   Wolf Bay Watershed Watch is a nonprofit group dedicated to conservation of natural resources of the Wolf Bay Watershed. They are located between Mobile Bay and Perdido Bay in Baldwin County, Alabama. Part of the group’s conservation efforts involve water quality sampling in the watershed area to create a baseline of environmental data during the current period of rapid development in the area, and also to identify sources of pollution to reduce or eliminate its effects.
   While in the area, Dr. Dokken was taken on a tour by boat and car of the watershed.
   Read Jan 20, 2021 Mobile Register article quoting Dr Dokken
   Read Jan 25, 2021 The Ledger article quoting Dr Dokken

GMF staff attends restoration conference in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, LA - Dec 14, 2020 - Two Gulf of Mexico Foundation staff members, Quenton Dokken and Bobbi Reed, attended the Third National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration conference at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans Dec 10-14.
   Dr. Dokken served as moderator for a panel entitled, “Give the People What They Want.” He also attended a workshop called, "Monitoring Estuarine Restoration." During the conference, he met with members of the scientific community, federal agencies and industry.
   The Gulf of Mexico Foundation both supported the conference with a donation and hosted a booth at the Restoration Expo. Bobbi Reed manned the booth and passed out GMF brochures, stickers and pens. The Expo had more than 140 exhibitors and was well attended throughout the conference.
   The opening reception for the conference was held in the exhibition hall and provided a good opportunity for attendees to socialize and tour all the exhibits. The conference was well attended with more than 1,400 participants who came together to discuss restoration needs, work currently being done and future requirements.

GMF receives NOAA fisheries leadership award
Photo courtesy NOAA
GMF's Kendal Keyes and Dr. Quenton Dokken (both center) accept
a Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Award at the inaugural ceremony
in Washington DC on June 5, 2006. Presenting the award were
Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher (left), Under Secretary of
Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Dr. William T. Hogarth
(right), Assistant Administrator for Fisheries.

June 2006 - WASHINGTON DC - June 2006 - GMF Executive Director Quenton Dokken and GMF Project Coordinator Kendal Keyes traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept a NOAA Marine Stewardship and Sustainability Awards on June 5. This first-annual national award program was developed by NOAA Fisheries Service to honor innovation and excellence in marine stewardship by recognizing organizations and individuals who have advanced conservation and sustainable use of U.S. marine resources. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation received the Coastal Habitat Restoration Award for its successful development and implementation of 33 coastal habitat restoration projects in five Gulf states and the U.S. Territories of the Caribbean. These projects are expected to restore nearly 14,000 acres of valuable coastal habitat that is important for the long-term health of marine resources. For more information, visit NOAA online.

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