article art, shrimp boat sunset

Imagine a day in the life on the Mississippi coast. You wake up early and watch the sun rise as you drive to your job as a shipbuilder in Pascagoula. Your family gets ready to spend a day at the beach in Biloxi with friends who are visiting on vacation. That evening, you stop on your way home and buy a few pounds of shrimp off the boat to cook up for dinner. What connects the story of your day? Every part depends on a healthy Gulf of Mexico.

Our coastal communities and way of life are tied to the Gulf and the resources it provides. According to NOAA, marine construction, tourism, fishing, and other industries support a thriving economy worth over $2.4 billion in Mississippi and $115 billion across the entire Gulf region. More than 34,000 Mississippi coast jobs are tied to marine industries.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is a regional partnership focused on enhancing the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico through increased collaboration. To foster and strengthen business engagement, the Alliance has created two unique opportunities for industry partners in the region – a Business Advisory Council and the Gulf Star Program.

The GOMA Business Advisory Council is committed to promoting a shared sense of stewardship for the Gulf and providing a forum for shared input. Over 60 representatives from industries operating in and around the Gulf of Mexico region participate annually. The group includes tourism, oil and gas, manufacturing, utilities/energy, transportation, seafood, agriculture, and environmental consultants.

The Alliance’s Gulf Star Program is a public-private partnership that funds regional projects to support healthy ecosystems and impact Gulf economies. In just a few short years, the program has become known for its success. Gulf Star partners include government agencies and several of the region’s leading corporations working together. Hancock Whitney, based here in Gulfport, is one of our most recent partners to join the program.

“Our success is built on building inclusive networks of people interested in doing good things for the Gulf,” said Laura Bowie, executive director for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. “We welcome business and industry partners who want to make a difference right where they operate.” Learn more at

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