The State of Alabama now leads the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Management Team.  Phillip Hinesley, Coastal Section Chief for the State Lands Division, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), will serve as the Chair, taking an active role on behalf of the State of Alabama.  This is the third leadership change for the Gulf regional ocean partnership organized in 2004. Alabama takes over following a productive tenure by Louisiana’s Jerome Zeringue, Chairman of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The leadership changes seamlessly and the mission of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico remains steadfast.

 “It will be the privilege of the State of Alabama to help guide the partnership to new actions over the next two years,” stated Phillip Hinesley. The role of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Management Team is to act on behalf of the states’ governors to oversee the direction addressing the six regional issues identified as priorities by all five Gulf States. As the Chair of the Alliance Management Team, Hinesley hopes to continue the Alliance’s efforts to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico region and promote continued collaboration between the Gulf States.

Hinesley will work closely with Gulf of Mexico Alliance Executive Director Laura Bowie to establish short term goals that position the non-profit to meet the needs of upcoming regional issues.

The state leadership change became official at the 2014 Gulf Summit in Houston, TX in March.  Out-going chair Jerome Zeringue was recognized for his dedicated service to the five-state, Governor-endorsed Alliance.  During Louisiana’s leadership, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance advanced regional collaborative efforts including research on oil-spill-related topics, development of a comprehensive water quality monitoring network, conducted sea-level rise modeling for at-risk marsh areas, enhanced regional sediment management planning and built resilience networks for coastal communities.

As Alabama takes leadership, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance will host a ten-year celebration event during the Priority Issue Team meetings May 19-21, 2014 in Mobile, Alabama. The public is invited to participate in the meetings and attend the ten-year celebration.