Ocean Springs, MS – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) is pleased to open the 15th annual All Hands meeting at The Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama, June 11-13, 2019. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Deputy Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship is welcoming attendees. Mayor Robert Craft with the City of Gulf Shores will welcome the Alliance in its first visit to Alabama’s crystal white beaches. The purpose of the meeting is multi-faceted. The All Hands meeting is an opportunity for partners to come together on vital work conducted throughout the year. This collaboration allows for project updates, planning on key issues, training, doing business, and keeping up with the latest best management practices.

The Alliance comprises six teams, three initiatives, five states, 13 federal agencies, over 30 regional business partners, a research initiative, a public/private partnership, numerous non‐profit associates, and local communities working across the Gulf on shared issues. NOAA Office of Coastal Management Director, Jeff Payne, will speak to the group on the power of these diverse partnerships.

Rounding out the morning, a panel of local experts will discuss Ecotourism. Herb Malone with the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach tourism, Phillip West with Orange Beach, and Down Under Dive Shop owner Bud Howard will share what makes the area unique and brings visitors back year after year.

The All Hands conference is the first major event held at The Lodge. The facility was built around the concept of sustainable tourism. It embraces environmentally friendly operations, support for cultural and natural heritage, and provides economic benefits to the local community. It mirrors well with the Alliance’s mission to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.

The meeting involves many moving parts. Teams, cross-teams, and committees will meet through the week covering a variety issues including coastal resilience, habitat resources, marine debris, avian monitoring and much more. For a complete schedule, download the master agenda http://tiny.cc/79rw7y.

Learn more about the Gulf of Mexico Alliance https://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/.