A new team to emerge from GOMA’s 2015 restructure is the Wildlife and Fisheries Team. The Wildlife and Fisheries Team focuses on living coastal and marine resources and other biological objectives.

The Team has two goals:

  • Work to understand and support diverse wildlife and fisheries populations to sustain a resilient Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
  • Inform conservation and policy decision makers through collaboration with the other Gulf of Mexico Alliance teams

The GOMA Wildlife and Fisheries Team is led by the State of Texas, but has active participation from all five Gulf States and federal agencies working in the region, as well as academia, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Learn more about the Team’s focus areas and actions in Action Plan III.

Contact the Wildlife and Fisheries Team is completing their draft for Action Plan IV. Contact the Team Coordinator for committee activities and planned teleconferences.

Team Virtual Sessions

Understanding Nekton Use of Estuarine Habitats in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CT

Terill Hollweg, who led this 2017 Gulf Star project, will walk you through the guidebook, which summarizes the key findings of a meta-analysis that “compiled data from a diversity of habitats, studies, and areas in the Gulf of Mexico.”  In this study, Hollweg set out to improve our understanding of how nekton (i.e., mobile fish and crustaceans) use different GOM coastal habitats and how they respond to the restoration of those habitats.  Updating and expanding a previously developed nekton database, Terill and her team conducted analyses to better characterize species utilization of habitats. They developed a user-friendly guidebook tailored to resource managers and restoration practitioners.

Wildlife & Fisheries All Team Working Session
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
9:00 am – 11:00 am CT

The Team’s Steering Committee has been working on a draft framework for the next iteration of the Governors’ Action Plan based on Team discussions and the survey GOMA circulated earlier this year.  Since the Team is unable to gather in person this year for All Hands, they have scheduled an all-team working session to address Action Plan IV.

Development of a Diamondback Terrapin Conservation Action Plan in the Gulf of Mexico
Thursday, June 25, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 pm CT

During the last quarter of 2019, project lead Tom Mohrman leveraged his involvement with the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group to acquire information and species-specific expertise from a broad array of experts across the region.  The advisory team he formed out of that engagement recently completed a series of webinars to identify conservation targets, threats, and measures as they push forward on developing the viability and threat assessment aspects of the conservation plan.  During this webinar, Mohrman will provide an overview and progress report, fielding questions from participants.

Please contact Team Coordinator Mike Smith for access information.

Gulf Star 2019 Awards

  • Development of a Diamondback Terrapin Conservation Action Plan in the Gulf of Mexico | The Nature Conservancy
    Diamondback terrapins are generally considered to be a species in decline and are a species of concern in four of the five Gulf States.  While interest in the species has increased in the region, a conservation plan does not exist for terrapins in the Gulf of Mexico and interactions with planned projects are likely.  The overall objective of this project is to engage diamondback terrapin stakeholders in a process to create a conservation action plan for terrapin populations and the habitats that are vital for their continued survival.  Contact project lead Tom Mohrman for more information.

Gulf Star 2017 Awards

  • Understanding Recovery and Species Use of Restored Habitats | Abt Associates
    Focusing on fish, shrimp, and crab use of oyster reefs, this project updates resources, analyzes data, and develops a user-friendly guidebook summarizing the key factors that affect species recovery following coastal habitat restoration projects. Get a copy of the guidebook.

Gulf Star 2016 Awards

  • Connectivity of Sea Turtles in Gulf Habitats | Inwater Research Group
    This project focuses on neonate sea turtles found in pelagic habitat off of Venice, Louisiana; juvenile and sub-adult sea turtles in nearshore habitat in the Big Bend region of Florida; and sub-adult and adult turtles found on foraging grounds near the Marquesas Keys, Florida. Get a copy of the final report.
  • Species Recovery Plan Review | Ashley Ballou Consultant
    This project identifies specific conservation actions that can be prioritized in order to downlist or delist particular threatened or endangered species in the region.  Once obtained, the prioritized actions will be included in regional restoration plans developed by state and federal agencies. Get a copy of the Final Report.

Team Chair

Team Coordinator