Gulf of Mexico Alliance excited about what this means for the future

Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs), including the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, recently received federal authorization under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This authorization recognizes the four existing ROPs and establishes governance structures and procedures to be used when new Partnerships are created.

“The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is excited about what this authorization will mean for coordination and collaboration with our partners in the Gulf of Mexico region,” said Laura Bowie, executive director of the Alliance. “While we have been in existence since 2004, this authorization formally recognizes that different coastal areas of our country have challenges that are specific to the needs of the member states and regional stakeholders, regardless of national priorities.”

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance would like to thank the leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA, Chair) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS, Ranking Member) for their commitment to recognizing the value of regional collaboration. The ecology and economy of our country’s coastal areas will benefit as a result of this authorization for years to come.

“It is important for states to collaborate when addressing ocean and coastal issues. I am glad the Gulf of Mexico Alliance has been formally recognized. Its work will build a stronger base of information and leverage new funding opportunities to strengthen the Blue Economy and protect our natural resources along the Gulf Coast,” said Sen. Wicker.

ROPs are organizations voluntarily convened by coastal state governors in collaboration with other governments and stakeholders to address issues of common concern in that region. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance serves as the ROP for the Gulf of Mexico region (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas). Three other Partnerships currently exist in the North Atlantic, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Coast.

The purpose of the authorization is to recognize ROPs as intergovernmental coordinators for shared priorities related to the collaborative management of oceans and coastal regions, thereby reducing duplication of efforts and maximizing opportunities to leverage support.

This measure provides provisions for supporting interagency collaboration around priorities in the region; implementing research, modeling, monitoring, data collection, and outreach projects that support the region’s priorities; and serving as a liaison with international counterparts as appropriate.