The interdependencies between human and natural environments are rarely accounted for in the development of plans or planning tools, which have historically focused on one or the other. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance helps facilitate better communication between activities. It serves as a coordination point around which relevant conservation, restoration, socio-economic, and resiliency data and tools are developed and managed to inform the decision-making of the wide array of stakeholders across the Gulf Coast.

The goal of this cross-team initiative is to foster greater integration among planning aspects of restoration, conservation, and resiliency to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of on the ground efforts.

There is a strong relationship between human activities in the Gulf coastal zone that underlie both human and natural system resiliency planning. Human resilience, natural habitat conservation, and restoration planners need a platform to discuss integrating natural habitats with human use so that the interdependencies of both are realized and planning efforts can be coordinated.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Coastal Resilience Priority Issue Team is completing Action Plan IV development. Contact the Team’s lead for more information.

Alliance Projects in Support of Initiative Objectives

Regional Coastal Resilience Grant – Community Projects

In 2016, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management awarded a 3-year grant to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The funds supported eight community implementation projects to increase resilience.  Gulf Coast communities submitted project ideas to address a resilience need or gap identified through a vulnerability assessment such as the Community Resilience Index. GOMA’s Community Impacts Report (pgs. 12-20) highlights awarded communities. In addition, video case studies are available.

Get a complete compendium of reports and resources produced from this award.

Development of a Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan

In support of Action 1 of the Comprehensive Planning Cross Team Initiative, the Alliance has been awarded three grants from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to develop, and begin implementing, a strategy for how to achieve a Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan (GCARP).

Gulf Star Funding to Support Leveraged Application of the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment

As the title implies, this project built off the pre-existing Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment to develop a broad, initial strategy for a GCARP. The Project Final Report contains a summary of actions the Alliance undertook in support of the development of an initial GCARP strategy, as well as the initial strategy itself.

The initial strategy was intended to identify the technical steps needed to develop information that would constitute a GCARP.  The Alliance is receptive to review of and comments on the strategy by all of its Gulf partners. It welcomes any suggestions for additions, deletions, and the identification of projects already undertaken that would meet the steps in the strategy.


Gulf of Mexico Alliance Gulf Star – A Public-Private Partnership Advancing Conservation

Funding for this project was provided by the USFWS to begin implementing the Initial Strategy to develop a Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan.  The Alliance’s Coastal Resilience, Habitat Resources, and Wildlife & Fisheries Priority Issue Teams met during the June 2019 All Hands Meeting in Gulf Shores, Alabama, to discuss and decide on priority project ideas.  The three teams decided to commission the development of an online training curriculum for Gulf Coast managers and stakeholders, titled Adapting to a Changing Gulf Region.


Training Opportunity – Adapting to a Changing Gulf Region: An Online Course

Learn to apply key concepts, science, and tools in climate change adaptation to your regional conservation work through a new interactive course hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Nine bi-weekly programs run June 17 – October 7, 2020.
Review the course syllabus.


Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan (GCARP) Implementation, Phase II

Funding for this project was provided by the USFWS to continue implementing the Initial Strategy to develop a Gulf Coast Adaptation and Resilience Plan.  The specific technical activities of this project are still under discussion by the Alliance and USFWS, but will likely involve the development of a new, or augmentation of an existing web-mapping portal, populated by priority datasets identified in the Initial Strategy.  The goal is for local, state, and federal stakeholders to use information in the portal to make more comprehensive management decisions that account for interacting habitat, human community, and wildlife and fisheries resources.

Team Facilitators

  • Rhonda Price, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
    Coastal Resilience Priority Issue Team
  • Jim Pahl, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
    Habitat Resources Priority Issue Team
  • Robin Reichers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
    Wildlife & Fisheries Priority Issue Team