In response to large economic indicators, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is pleased to announce the inaugural members of the newly-formed GOMA Business Advisory Council. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the five states of the Gulf of Mexico Coast Region was almost 2.4 trillion dollars in 2009, representing 17% of the nation’s GDP (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2011). The Gulf Coast Region’s economy is highly intertwined with its natural resource base, including oil and gas deposits, commercial and recreational fisheries, and waterways for ports and waterborne commerce.

The purpose of the GOMA Business Advisory Council is to ensure industry-sector participation and advisement in regional environmental initiatives. The Council will provide a fundamental connection between policy and applied management decisions.

Tourism

  • Reuben Watkins, Ocean Explorers (Gulfwide)
  • Gary Ellis, Compass Media (Gulf Shores, AL)

Oil & Gas

  • Kent Satterlee, Shell Exploration & Production Company (New Orleans, LA)
  • Sandra Werner, Exxon Mobile (Houston, TX)

Manufacturing

  • Tom Ballou, Sherwin Alumina (Corpus Christi, TX)
  • Mike Lyons, Mid-Continent Oil & Gas (Baton Rouge, LA)

Utilities

  • Flinda Hill, Mississippi Power/Southern Company (Gulfport, MS)

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

  • Mike Colby, Florida Coast Charters (Clearwater, FL)

GOMA is still seeking applications from the utilities, transportation, seafood, fishing and agriculture industries to round out the Council.

“GOMA anticipates that the BAC will prove to be an invaluable source of advice and input from industries operating in and around the Gulf of Mexico region,” said Phil Bass of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. “We look forward to working with new partners on issues of regional importance.”

Members were selected from a broad range of applications submitted in spring 2012 based on their industry sector expertise and experience, community and professional affiliations, and knowledge regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Council members will serve as liaisons to others in their industry regarding regional issues addressed by GOMA.

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About the Gulf of Mexico Alliance: The Gulf of Mexico Alliance recognizes the economy and quality of life for citizens of the Gulf are linked to its ecological health. As the result of a shared vision for a healthy and resilient Gulf of Mexico region, the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas formalized the Alliance in 2004. A not-for-profit organization, the Alliance’s mission is to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf region by encouraging collaboration among government agencies, businesses, education providers and non-governmental organizations. Priority issues addressed by the Alliance include water quality, habitat conservation, ecosystem assessment, nutrient impacts, community resilience and environmental education. To learn more about the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, visit www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org.