This month, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU is intended to enhance collaboration between the two regional organizations on matters of critical importance to the Gulf of Mexico environment and economy.

The shorelines, ecosystems and marine life of the Gulf of Mexico are critically significant to the wealth and quality of life for people who live along its coasts. Sensitive coastal and marine habitats are increasingly subject to stress from natural and man-induced disturbances. These areas support over $2.1 trillion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

University-based research organizations in the Gulf States, like those within GOMURC, work collaboratively with federal and state partners in science, education and policy efforts to promote the long-term sustainability of the Gulf ecosystem and economy. GOMA brings this set of stakeholders and also reaches into the non-profit, business, and natural resource management sectors. The collaboration between the two organization increases the region’s synergy and builds upon the work established with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), a subsidiary of GOMA. Together, GOMA and GOMURC agree to engage in several activities:

  • Develop and support Gulf of Mexico regional research initiatives;
  • Promote academic cooperation with GOMA state and federal agency partners;
  • Facilitate educational opportunities that benefit GOMA partners, for example, professional development education and training;
  • Promote Gulf-wide information management and sharing of academic research data and products; and,
  • Provide advice and support to GOMA management team regarding issues and projects requiring scientific information and analysis.

“Working with members of GoMURC presents an enormous opportunity to ensure that science-based solutions are part of policy and management decisions regarding Gulf of Mexico natural resources,” noted Gulf of Mexico Alliance Executive Director, Laura Bowie.

Together, the two regional organizations hope this collaboration will help the region better understand the increasing environmental challenges ahead.