For Immediate Release: May 14, 2014

(Mobile, AL) – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance will hold its tenth annual meeting to advance issues critical to effective stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico.  The regional collaborative of national significance will hold Priority Issue Team meetings May 19 – 21, 2014 in Mobile, Alabama, at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.

Events in the Gulf over the past decade include unprecedented natural and manmade environmental disasters, such as those brought by the destructive hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, and copious amounts of oil from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010.  Relationships established through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance have been instrumental in mitigating and responding to these and other challenges.  From hand-shake agreements in 2004, small groups of state, federal, non-profit, and academic interests identified priority issues common to all five states and drafted the first five-state-endorsed action plan, Governors’ Action Plan:  For Healthy and Resilient Coasts released in 2006.  This plan set in motion six teams tasked with addressing the issues of water quality, nutrient enrichment, habitat conservation, ecosystem integration, environmental education and coastal resilience.  Demonstrated successes, ranging from on-the-ground response to upper level resource management decision-making, have proven valuable and have been adopted as models by other coastal regions.    

Reinforcing the responsive, adaptive nature of the organization, the second, farther-reaching action plan, Governors’ Action Plan II, was developed in 2009. Following this, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance formed a non-profit headquartered in coastal Mississippi. In 2011, it took on the regional leadership role of administering the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, now in its fourth year of operation. 

At the 2014 meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance will take an opportunity to reflect on ten successful years of building partnerships for a healthier Gulf.  The annual meeting will provide the venue to identify new goals and actions for the future. The public and media are invited to attend.