Jerome Zeringue has become the new management Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, taking an active lead on behalf of Governor Bobby Jindal. Zerinque made Alliance history, shifting state leadership for only the second time since the Alliance was established in 2004. Louisiana takes over following a long and active tenure by Dr. Bill Walker and Ms. Trudy Fisher with the State of Mississippi.
The state leadership change became official at the Gulf Summit in Houston, Texas. Out-going co-chairs, Dr. Bill Walker and Ms. Trudy Fisher, were recognized for their dedicated service to the five state, Governor-endorsed Alliance and were presented with beautiful crystal awards. Through their leadership the Alliance completed its second regional action plan, established a regional non-profit, successfully negotiated with BP to form the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and oversaw federal and state appropriated funds to support the priority issues.
As the director for the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, Jerome Zeringue steps in as the new Chair of the Alliance Management Team. Their role is to act on behalf of the states’ governors to oversee Alliance direction to address the six regional issues identified as priorities by all five Gulf States. Zeringue presided over his first meeting in January 2012 and said, “Thank-you to the State of Mississippi for their outstanding leadership of the Alliance. As the in-coming Chair from Louisiana, I look forward to working with everyone as we continue the good work of the Alliance. No matter the unfortunate circumstances that have led us to this point, we stand here today facing a great opportunity and an even greater challenge. We eagerly accept the challenge of restoring and enhancing the Gulf during this critical time. It is a responsibility we embrace.” Zeringue hopes to accomplish several items while Louisiana serves as the chair of the Alliance, namely the completion of objectives in the regional action plan as well as Alliance integration into the regional restoration strategy resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.