Ocean Springs, MS (November 21, 2016) – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) announced today the award of more than $630,000 to 19 Gulf Star projects. It is the inaugural year of the Gulf Star public-private partnership program. The awards, developed in consultation with GOMA’s Priority Issue Teams, are designed to address small, but foundational issues associated with coastal resilience, water quality, habitat resources, data and monitoring, wildlife, education, and marine debris. Together, these projects will provide data and information to inform the larger restoration efforts in the region.

The Gulf Star Program has been a slow but steady development over the past 12 months. Its initiation began with funding solicitation to support the Alliance’s new actions in the Governors’ Action Plan III. The Priority Issue Teams defined actions for early implementation. Working through the Alliance Management Team, projects were reviewed and selected.

Today’s announcement represents the first obligation of the public-private partnership. The program is a five-year program that supports projects that are tied to healthy ecosystems that impact Gulf economies. The 2016 Gulf Star partners include all five Gulf States, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Shell, Freeport McMoRan, and The Nature Conservancy. Gulf Star contributions from these partners leverage dollar for dollar.

“This is an excellent opportunity to put into action some of the science-based tools that the GOMA Teams have developed through the years.  We are grateful to the Gulf Star partners for believing in the program.” – Dr. Kelly Lucas, Chief Science Officer, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and GOMA Management Team.

Unlike other restoration programs in the region, the Gulf Star program is completely voluntary and is a result of the dedication to the philosophy that collaboration bring exponential results. Brief project summaries and complete program information can be found on the Alliance website.

Download a PDF file of 2016 Gulf Star Project summaries.