Each month we update restoration efforts around the Gulf of Mexico in our monthly eNewsletter. For September 2017, we dedicated it to hurricane success stories. Our updates are shared here.
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) – On September 27, 2017, the RESTORE Council announced the intention to vote no sooner than October 5, 2017 on the approval of the Final 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning Support (2017 CPS FPL) in accordance with the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf States Act (RESTORE Act). Those interested in RESTORE Council activities and notices are encouraged to sign up for eBlasts. Complete information is available on RestoreTheGulf.gov.
In the States
- Florida – The Gulf Consortium selected an outside consultant, Balmoral Group, to serve as manager of their activities. The Gulf Consortium website is refreshed and most project updates are found in the agenda items of meetings. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) also maintains a website of related information.
- Alabama – Information on the AGCRC can be found on their website.
- Mississippi – Governor Bryant announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued grant awards for two Mississippi RESTORE projects. The awards support stream restoration and the William Carey University School of Pharmacy to address workforce development and job creation. The Mississippi Restoration Summit is scheduled for November 14, 2017 at the MS Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. To read more about these activities and learn more about other Mississippi restoration activities visit Making Mississippi Whole.
- Louisiana – The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council activities. In August and September, CPRA received $33.7 million from the RESTORE Council to design and implement the final phase of a System Wide Assessment and Monitoring Program and to design and permit the Maurepas Swamp diversion project. CPRA also awarded four projects totalling $28.6 million for coastal restoration and protection projects. Projects are supported by funding from NMFS, USFWS, CPRA, and EPA among others. These and other updates are available on the CPRA website.
- Texas – All Deepwater Horizon related Texas restoration activities can be found on www.restorethetexascoast.org.
Centers of Excellence
- Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP)
- Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
- Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE)
- RESTORE Act Center of Excellence Louisiana
- Texas OneGulf
- Texas Subsea Systems Institute has a Research Grant opportunity open.
NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program – The program announced their 2017 competition awards in July. Updates and information on this program are found their dedicated website.
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program – The NAS Gulf Research Program released their Annual Report 2016. It reflects an increase in grant offerings and is the third report reflecting the organization’s progress since 2013. If you are a GRP grant or fellowship award recipient that has been affected and may require any flexibility pertaining to an NAS award, contact GulfGrants@nas.edu for grants and GulfFellowships@nas.edu for fellowships.For this and other NAS information visit the Gulf Research Program website.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) -The Trustees will hold a second annual meeting on November 30, 2017 in Mobile, Alabama. They will provide an update on their work and describe restoration planning activities and opportunities for public engagement.
- The Alabama TIG announced on August 30th that it is drafting its Restoration Plan II/Environmental Assessment. The upcoming plan will address wetlands, coastal and nearshore habitats, habitat projects on federally managed lands, nonpoint source nutrient reduction, sea turtles, marine mammals, birds, and oysters. All project ideas provided are being reviewed and considered in planning efforts.
- The Louisiana TIG announced changes to the oyster restoration project. Changes reflect improvements to the project to help the Lake Fortuna cultch plant perform better and maximize chances of reef success.
All TIG activity and comprehensive Gulf NRDA information is available on www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund NFWF made several funding announcements this month that include regional benefits. It announced more than $1 million in grants to support forestland restoration throughout the Cumberland Plateau including areas in Alabama. It awarded $1.75 million to coral reef conservation that included projects in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Florida. NFWF also made grants to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Friends groups to include work in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. Follow NFWF and their website.
North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA) – On September 9th, NAWCA announced the approval of $21.9 million to partners to conserve, enhance, or restore 92,000 acres of lands for birds in 16 states. Regional projects were approved in parish and multi-parish areas of Louisiana; county and multi-county projects in Texas; and the Lower Mississippi Valley of Louisiana and Mississippi; multi-county project in Texas. The 2017 U.S. Small Grants deadline is October 19, 2017. These awards, 2017 grant deadlines, and other information are available on the NAWCA website.
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – GoMRI issued its final round of awards this month investing $50 million in 31 consortium and research teams. The $500 million BP investment in Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill research has produced a rich legacy of research and technical innovation in the region. Regional, national, and international experts convene every year at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference. It is scheduled for February 5-8, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Get complete GoMRI and conference information at gulfresearchinitiative.org.
Visit our Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Story Map. The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker now shows 664 funded projects in the region.