9562011-All-Hands-plenary

Biloxi, MS – The 7th annual Gulf of Mexico Alliance meeting is scheduled for June 19-21, 2012, in Corpus Christi, Texas. A key topic at the conference this year is an address by the new director of the National Ocean Council, Deerin Babb-Brott, who will provide an update on the implementation of the National Ocean Policy. Also, the Alliance has invited industry leaders from key sectors such as energy, tourism and harbors to join the conference to offer insight on working together effectively, including integration and obstacles when collaborating on ecosystem programs such as National Ocean Policy objectives.

Other key topics at the conference include the status of Natural Resource Damage Assessment restoration activities, an update on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and a panel dedicated to discussion regarding resilient communities. Keynote speakers include high-ranking personnel from the Department of Interior, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each agency will give updates on current federal priorities.

The two-day plenary meeting will be followed by concurrent sessions on water quality, nutrient impacts, ecosystem integration and assessment, habitat conservation and restoration, coastal community resilience, and environmental education. These working sessions will engage participants in the Alliance’s goals and actions at the community level and leaders from around the Gulf Coast will share knowledge and expertise. The Alliance plans to build on discussions from the previous days and take advantage of broad membership to further integrate with regional priorities.