Last week, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance conducted their 7th annual All Hands Meeting at the Omni Hotel Bayfront and Marina Towers in Corpus Christi, TX. The three-day meeting focused on shared ecological issues of the five U.S. Gulf States. On Tuesday, the Alliance invited industry leaders from key sectors to join the annual meeting to offer insight on working together effectively. Representatives from Shell E&P Co., Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Port of Corpus Christi, and Florida Coast Charters were candid about the challenges and rewards of doing business along the Gulf of Mexico during a panel discussion entitled “Integration with Business and Industry”. The Alliance has traditionally been a collaboration of state and federal government partners from the five Gulf States.

“One of our major goals for this year is to bring more business and industry leaders into the Alliance to deepen the sense of stewardship of the Gulf,” said Jerome Zeringue, Alliance Chairman and Executive Director of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. “As Gulf restoration efforts go forward, we all have to work together to ensure that both public and private interests are addressed.”

“We are interested in partnering with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance because Shell wants a healthy Gulf of Mexico,” said Kent Satterlee, Manager of Offshore Regulatory Policy for Shell E&P Company. “The Alliance has demonstrated the ability to work together as coastal states alongside the federal government.”

“We are all inter-related and share the same issues,” said Herb Malone, President and CEO of the Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We all depend each other and on a healthy Gulf of Mexico.

The first day’s program also presented updates on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and the National Ocean Policy. Both efforts are aimed to enhance and sustain long-term ecological recovery in the Gulf. Both programs are in discussion with the Alliance to ensure coordination of efforts to reduce duplication, build on existing successes, and create a unified approach to regional ecosystem management.

Wednesday was promoted as a day to showcase the Alliance’s achievements over the past year, especially in regard to Gulf restoration efforts.

The Alliance’s Priority Issue Teams met on Thursday to address ongoing programs and discuss integration opportunities presented during the plenary sessions.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has been working to enhance the economic and ecological health of the region since 2004. The 2012 All Hands meeting concludes June 21, 2012 at the Omni Hotels Bayfront and Marina Towers, Corpus Christi, TX.