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Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative News pages report on activities, news items, and issues related to Gulf science and education. Please visit our newsstand (gomurc.fio.usf.edu/phocadownload/gomurc_newsstand-v051816.pdf) for much more news from Gulf partners.

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The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council will hold a public meeting on September 12, 2017 at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, Alabama. During this meeting, we will present updates on the work of the Trustee Council and each Trustee Implementation Group (TIG): Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Open Ocean, and Region-wide.  This meeting will serve as the annual public meeting for the Trustee Council and the Region-wide TIG.

5:30 – 6:30 PM-- Open House for discussion and questions 

6:30 – 9:00 PM-- Public Meeting for presentation and public comment.

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The Louisiana NRDA Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is seeking proposals regarding natural resource restoration opportunities in Louisiana under the following restoration types:

  • Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities
  • Nutrient Reduction (Non-Point source).

Information on these restoration types and the Oil Pollution Act and criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated can be found in the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council's comprehensive restoration plan.

BY AUGUST 14, 2017, submit new restoration project ideas for consideration within these restoration types to the Trustees' project portal or to the State of Louisiana's portal. If you have submitted project ideas in the past to either portal, or in connection with other Louisiana restoration planning efforts, including Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and Deepwater Horizon restoration planning efforts, you do not need to resubmit those ideas. Instead, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." title="This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reference the method of and date of submittal of previously submitted proposals, and we will retrieve and consider them.

Projects submitted after the deadline will be considered in future restoration planning efforts.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." title="This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

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Tagged in: funding NRDA RESTORE Act

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) is seeking project suggestions for RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component funding (Bucket 3); for information on the RESTORE Act, go to www.restorealabama.org.  For potential first round funding under the RESTORE Act’s Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3), please enter project suggestion(s) into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal by September 15, 2017. If you have already entered your project suggestion on this website, it is not necessary to re-submit.  You can also see what has been submitted and funded today on the portal page.

Qualifying projects must reflect at least one of the following criteria:

 

 

  • Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region
  • Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources
  • Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring
  • Workforce development and job creation
  • Improvements to or on state parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Infrastructure projects that benefit the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure
  • Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure
  • Planning assistance
  • Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including recreational fishing
  • Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast Region.

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State of Alabama is now accepting applications for the vacant Marine Resources Division Director position.  Announcement and application instructions at: https://www.personnel.alabama.gov/Documents/Announcements/103261_A.pdf

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

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Tagged in: Alabama jobs management

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council's "Draft 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning Support (draft CPS FPL)" is available  for public and Tribal review and comment at www.restorethegulf.gov until 11:59pm MT August 14, 2017.

Two related informational webinars will be conducted to provide an overview of these FPL Awards. A select number of participant questions will be answered during the live webinar. Webinars will be recorded and posted on www.restorethegulf.gov:

July 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm Central Time [Webinar Registration Link]

July 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm Central Time [Webinar Registration Link]

Register for these webinars in advance. Once registered, a link to access the webinar will be sent to the email address provided during registration.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Please send questions by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact Keala J. Hughes at (504) 717-7235.

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

Our friends at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation asked us to share that they have an opening for Fisheries Conservation program manager in their DC office, "a key member of the Marine and Coastal Conservation team and will manage the implementation of the Foundation’s sustainable fisheries programs including, but not limited to the Fisheries Innovation Fund, Electronic Monitoring and Reporting grant program, and the Oceanic Fish Restoration Project." Go to the on-line job description for details and how to apply.

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The Natural Resource Damage Assessment process related to the DeepWater Horizon oil spill recovery effort includes "Trustee Implementation Groups" (TIGs). The Region-wide TIG identifies restoration efforts that may apply across multiple Restoration Areas. They recently released four strategic frameworks to assist with restoration planning for oysters, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals; the frameworks "provide broad context and guidance for project selection and implementation."

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) just updated its "BP Oil Disaster: Restoration & Recovery Timeline of Major Events in Gulf Recovery." The timeline "provides an overview of major events related to the three main Gulf restoration and recovery processes: the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), the RESTORE Act, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. It also introduces major events in the U.S. Criminal Charges & Civil Claims, which are related to but separate from the other processes."

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

The National Academies of Science- Gulf Research Program has position open for Communications/Media Specialist, which they need to fill right away (apply now)!  Questions – call Mike Banker at 202-334-1493 and apply here (https://chk.tbe.taleo.net/chk06/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=NAS&cws=1&rid=8689).

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Tagged in: jobs NAS

Posted by on in Gulf Events

Products now available from the the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) including:

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) is seeking a professional to serve as our Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) Manager.

Primary Job Duties include:

 

  • Completing and maintaining a build-out plan for SECOORA’s RCOOS
  • Leading and managing the RCOOS
  • Leading and managing SECOORA’s Data Management and Communications
  • Supporting proposal development, member recruitment, and identification of funding opportunities
  • Supporting SECOORA operations, especially IT, and other technical needs.

Deadline to apply is July 10, 2017. For full details, please access PDF of announcement here: http://secoora.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/RCOOS-Manager-Final.pdf

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

As part of its effort to solicit Gulf restoration ideas, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group, will host a webinar on Thursday, April 27 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET to describe the NRDA restoration planning process, request for project ideas, and next steps for the Open Ocean Restoration Area.

The deadline for submitting project ideas is May 15, 2017. Project ideas can be submitted to NRDA database. OO TIG is targeting restoration for wide-ranging and migratory species at important points during their life cycles and geographic ranges, including inland, coastal, and offshore areas. 

To attend the webinar, register in advance at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7689366780932935683 (Webinar ID: 290-145-947).

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Tagged in: NRDA restoration webinar

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) just released its report, "Making the Most of Restoration: Priorities for a Recovering Gulf." This follow-up to its 2014 report provides their recommendations on Gulf coastal ecosystems, with emphasis on estuaries. The report identifies "suites of projects that have the greatest collective impact on priority estuaries." Their approach included: reviewing federal, state and local planning and assessment reports; documenting existing stressors for each system; evaluating potential restoration needs required to tackle each underlying stressor; and prioritizing projects for a given estuary based on the greatest restoration needs.

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Proceedings from the 2016 Restore America's Estuaries conference are now available. The RAE web site also includes links to presentations and posters.

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The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to conduct a Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA). The resulting report assesses the relative vulnerability of various coastal habitats and species to impacts from expected climate changes, sea-level rise and coastal development. Intended purpose of the study include to inform collaborative regional conservation and adaptation efforts by identifying vulnerable species and ecosystems, the most common threats to species and ecosystems, and related research gaps.

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

GCOOS' annual members' meeting is scheduled for March 23, 2017, in New Orleans. Register here by Feb 27! Hear updates on GCOOS activities from staff and sub-award recipients, and meet with representatives from partner organizations in the Gulf, including the U.S. IOOS Program Office, the IOOS Association and the National Academies of Science Gulf Research Program.

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The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) is offering a training course entitled "Open Science for Synthesis: Gulf Research Program." Application deadline is Feb. 20!! Course dates are Jul 10-28, 2017.

This is a "hands-on data science course for both early career and established researchers to gain skills in data science, including scientific synthesis, reproducible science, and data management."

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The Membership Committee of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) is seeking nominations for the organization's Board of Directors. GCOOS is the heart of data collection for the ocean and coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico -- collecting thousands of data points from sensors and ensuring the data are reliable, timely, accurate and available to all who need it.

Nominations are due by March 3, 2017. See here for details of the Board responsibilities and how to make nominations.

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The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a webinar on Feb 16 at 4-5:30 pm ET. Registration requested, entitled "The Border Wall: Environmental Law and Policy." Experts will discuss how environmental law and policy may interact with the border wall Executive Order.

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

The Texas Subsea Systems Institute funded by the RESTORE Act, announces its first open request for proposals. Priorities include collaborative, innovative programs to develop subsea wireless communications technologies applied to offshore, deepwater oil and gas operations. One 18 month grant for $300k will be awarded; the deadline for submissions is February 24, 2017 for April 2017 start date.

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GOMURC principal member, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) seeks an experienced and accomplished marine scientist to serve as Chair of University Programs.  The DISL is the administrative home for Alabama’s Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium. Please see the position announcement for position details and how to apply. Position is open until filled with interviews to begin in April.

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Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program announces two new offerings:

1) "Frequently asked questions: Oil edition" publication details the ins and outs of petroleum-- where it originates, what it’s made of, and how scientists track it in the environment.

2) "Exploring the intersection between oil spill science and response" free public seminar on February 6th, 2017, 1:00 - 5:00 pm (Central) during the Gulf Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference in New Orleans, join in-person (Hyatt Regency New Orleans, LA, Bolden 6 room) or remotely through your computer and phone. This workshop will allow local scientists working on oil spill research and local emergency responders to clearly communicate their needs and form partnerships. Scientists will share peer-reviewed research results that can be applied to response and responders will share response priorities. Questions about the workshop- contact Monica Wilson, UF/IFAS Sea Grant, via email or at (727) 553-3516.

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council welcomes restoration ideas to be funded by RESTORE Act, NRDA , or NFWF funds. Submit restoration project ideas or comments by: web portals for the Trustees (NRDA funds), or State of Alabamae-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or by mail at ADCNR Coastal Stewardship Office ATTN: Alabama Restoration Plan Two, 3115 Five Rivers Boulevard, Spanish Fort, AL 36527.  Project ideas DUE February 3, 2017.

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Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet Dec. 16, 2017 in New Orleans to vote on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update. Register to attend meeting or Webinar here.

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On March 29-30, 2017, a "Gulf of Mexico Workshop on International Research (GOM-WIR)" will be held at the Riverside Omni in Houston, TX, to bring together expertise from broad disciplines to develop an international research agenda for the Gulf of Mexico. The workshop is sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI), the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program (NASGRP) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The objective of GOM-WIR is to identify, prioritize and facilitate potential international environmental research between Mexico, Cuba and the USA in the Gulf of Mexico. The facilitated workshop is by invitation only and will bring together up to 150 researchers from the USA, Mexico, and Cuba from academia, resource agencies and the private sector to participate. Go to the workshop web page at http://www.gulfinventory.org/ for more information and to request an invitation.

The workshop will be held in conjunction with the HRI State of the Gulf Summit to be held on March 27-28, 2017; participants are invited to also attend the Summit.

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Posted by on in Gulf Policy

The Environmental Law Institute is hosting a webinar entitled "Ocean Policy & the Trump Administration: Key Issues for the Next Four Years" on December 9, 2016 at 10a to 11:30a ET. Leading policy experts from ELI, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy, Meridian Institute and Surfrider Foundation will present their views on the critical issues during this administration. Registration is open and required.

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Tagged in: outreach policy webinar

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance's latest newsletter includes announcement of new Memorandum of Understanding with GOMURC to promote collaboration with Gulf research universities and the Alliance. This agreement replaces original signed in 2011, and reinforces the value of the partnership for among other tasks promoting closer ties between the Gulf science and management communities.

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

GOMURC principal member, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) seeks an experienced and accomplished marine scientist to serve as Chair of University Programs-- see position description and application instructions here.  Review of applications will begin by January 30, 2017.

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Tagged in: Alabama education jobs

Posted by on in Gulf Events

Registration for the 2017 State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit is now open; meeting will be held March 26-28, 2017 in Houston, TX. Summit byline is "OneGulf - Shaping the Future: Science-driven solutions for Gulf of Mexico problems." 

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In 2013, over 12% of 3000 oil platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico were decommissioned and targeted for removal or reef creation (BSEE 2016); 100-300 are decommissioned each year! The ATLONTIS Project is an alliance of public and private organizations considering the use and re-purposing of decommissioned oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico for scientific research and monitoring. The new science base may be located in the northern Gulf Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease areas out to 1000 meters of water depth. We ask for your assistance in assessing interest and potential applications for conversion and operation of an OCS oil/gas platform for support for scientific research and environmental monitoring. 
 
Thank you for your attention and response to our short survey.
 
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The RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana is soliciting feedback on a draft Research Strategy. The Research Strategy guides the competitive research that the Center supports and its focus is issues pertinent to Louisiana, with emphasis on advancing Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. The Research Strategy identifies key topical near-term (< 2 years) and mid-term (2-5 years) research needs including articulation of the scientific and technical problems underlying these needs, potential outcomes, and multi-disciplinary opportunities. 

Feedback on the Research Strategy should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, November 7, 2016.

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The Nature Conservancy released new study on migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico. Understanding the migratory pathways of fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, and birds is critical to species survival, and to the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem. 

Dr. Jorge Brenner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  and his team, including Carly Voight and Dr. David Mehlman, worked with more than 100 scientists to synthesize information about the pathways of a variety of migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico. Our goal is to increase understanding of the migratory strategies and corridors of representative migratory fish, sea turtle, marine mammal, and bird species in the Gulf. Our hope is that information presented in this study will inform and motivate government decision-makers to support further research on migratory pathways to enable the survival of individual species and the protection of the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. 

You can also view a slideshow of some of the information included in the report.

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The Environmental Law Institute Ocean Program is asking for public input to an on-line survey intended to improve the transparency and engagement in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Restoration (NRDAR) program.

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Tagged in: NRDA outreach

WE NEED YOUR HELP-- PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SHORT SURVEY to identify environmental monitoring programs or projects supported by academia or NGOs that may have been missed in the Ocean Conservancy's Charting the Gulf inventory of monitoring programs; this is an important regional effort to inform and improve DWH spill restoration efforts. If the survey does not apply to you, please share this news item with others. We need responses by end of November! Thanks.

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

November 15, 2016, 8:30-2:30, MS DEQ will host a Restoration Summit at the Biloxi Convention Center featuring information and presentations on current projects, and community engagement opportunities to gather input on Deepwater Horizon restoration efforts in Mississippi.

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The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association released its new Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. Its purpose is "to provide a roadmap for developing ocean tools, technologies and applications that will improve ocean forecasts, as well as our ability to protect the environment and support human safety and the Gulf economy."

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative released its final Request for Proposals (RFP IV). They will support 2-year proposals for small teams or consortia and have a total for $65 million. Letters of Intent are due November 14, 2016, and final proposals due in March 2017.

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Tagged in: funding GOMRI research

RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana is now seeking nominations for its External Review Board to provide technical feedback to the Center on key research activities. The Board will be comprised of nationally and internationally recognized subject matter experts on topics relevant to Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.

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Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

University of Southern Mississippi and the College of Science and Technology invite applications and nominations for the position of Associate Director for the USM School of Ocean Science and Technology and Chair in the Division of Marine Science.

Applications must be submitted online at https://jobs.usm.edu. Since the division is located at NASA SSC, the successful candidate must be able to pass a NASA background investigation to work at Stennis. To nominate a candidate or for inquiries about the position, contact Dr. Mohamed O. Elasri, Associate Dean, College of Science and Technology: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 601-266-4886. Review of applications begins October 1, 2016 and continues until the position is filled.

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

The Environmental Law Institute hosted webinar on Sep 21, 2016 from 1-2:30 EST for "RESTORE Council staff (including Executive Director Justin Ehrenwerth) to provide background on the plan and answer questions" on the Council's updated Comprehensive Plan. Contact ELI for record-- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative's Sea Grant Extension Program hosted oil spill science seminar, "Building Resilient Communities: Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 9 AM to 4PM (in-person registration starts at 8:30AM), Hardy Hall Ballroom, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, Long Beach, MS. For record contact Larissa Graham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council will hold a public meeting on September 28, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana-- details here. During this meeting, we will present updates on the work of the Trustee Council and each Trustee Implementation Group (TIG):  Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Open Ocean, and Region-wide.

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Tagged in: meeting NRDA RESTORE Act

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) has released a proposed update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan that provides important additional strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding future projects and activities. The Council will host a series of public meetings across the Gulf Coast, including two public webinars, to discuss the draft Comprehensive Plan Update and seek public comments. Public comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan Update will be accepted from August 23, 2016 to October 7, 2016.

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The Gulf of Mexico Alliance and MS/AL Sea Grant are seeking input from Gulf citizens to an on-line survey entitled Resilience Tools and Services Gap Analysis. Your input will help them identify gaps in coastal communities capabilities that enable them to withstand the impacts of natural and human-caused disasters.

Posted by on in Gulf Events

LSU move-in day was much slower than usual thanks to flooding. There are ways anyone can help LA flooding victims without traveling to the affected area. NOLA.com provides access to several. 

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Flooding on LSU campus, Aug 2016. Photo: The Advocate.

2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference Call for Abstracts is now open.

Theme will be Ecosystem Approaches to Gulf Response and Restoration. Stated interests include: application of science results to practical use; informing planning, preparedness, response and recovery for future events; what have we learned about oil spills and their impacts that can reduce uncertainty, mitigate ecological, social and health impacts of a future spill; advanced response strategies; and how to improve restoration efforts. 

Conference sessions emphasize applications of recent oil spill science to restoration, resource management and oil spill response. Each session will include invited speakers and oral presentations; papers not selected for oral presentations will be afforded an opportunity to participate in the poster session.

The deadline to submit an abstract is September 26, 2016. You do not need to be registered to submit an abstract. Registration will open in a few weeks.

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The National Academies Gulf Research Program is hosting a webinar on August 11, 2016 (register here), to summarize its new funding opportunity for research practices grants. This partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is entitled, Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience and Well-being in the Gulf of Mexico Region.

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Tagged in: funding human health NAS

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration
NAS Report Release

On July 26, 2016, National Academies Gulf Research Program will release new report entitled, Effective approaches for monitoring and assessing Gulf of Mexico restoration efforts. The program will host a related webinar/info briefing at 10am EDT on July 26 (register to attend or view webcast here).

REPORT NOW AVAILABLE HERE.

 

Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announced it is developing the program's final Request for Proposals VI (RFP-VI) for release in October. Two-year grants for 2018-2019 will fund research activities for Years 9-10 (1 January 2018–31 December 2019) and focus on:

  • Continuation of previously designated research themes and topics that have emerged;
  • Data integration from various sources;
  • Scientific synthesis across themes and consortia or other overarching scientific and technological products exploiting the GoMRI scientific legacy.

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Tagged in: funding GOMRI research
Coastal ocean observing needs

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is seeking comments on the new attached report entitled, National Strategy for a Sustained Network of Coastal Moorings. 

 National-Strategy-for-Sustained-Network-of-Coastal-Moorings_v1.1_DRAFT.pdf

The report specifically states that "the Gulf of Mexico in general is a major gap area in the U.S. for ecosystem monitoring from coastal moorings" (p. 25)

Submit comments to either Vembu Subramanian <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> by Aug 4 or after then to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

 

 

Posted by on in Gulf Science and Education
Gulf state disasters

Gulf of Mexico states batting a thousand in 2016 by being involved in all 8 billion dollar natural disasters, also implicated in 30 deaths, which hit the U.S. between Jan and May 2016, based on information compiled by NOAA. The analyses by the National Centers for Environmental Information include time series, maps and links to articles that describe methods and results.

Dispatches From The Gulf  video series now available via guide containing descriptions and links to each of 50 short films cross-referenced to the corresponding GoMRI research theme and consortia

Tagged in: GOMRI outreach science

Sea Grant and GOMRI have a partnership to focus on making Deepwater Horizon oil spill science available to managers and the public. They recently produced a brochure focused on oil spill impacts on fisheries. It is a good resource for related literature and an easy to understand state-of-science summary.

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Posted by on in Gulf Policy

The Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary welcomes public comments on its proposed boundary expansion to include other deep banks across the northern Gulf of Mexico outer shelf; see the bottom of the news item page for how to submit comments via regulations.gov, due by August 9, 2016.

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The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance, GOMA) released the Governors’ Action Plan III For Healthy and Resilient Coasts today. This is the third major effort by the Alliance, approved by all five U.S. Gulf Coast State governors.

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The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program (NRASP) released its 2017 Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) "focused on living coastal and marine resources and their habitats and requests proposals under two program priorities. One priority focuses on research and the other priority focuses on science application in the form of decision-support tools. Funding is contingent upon the availability of funds in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund."

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2016 is Jun 7-9. Agenda includes keynote by Christy Goldfuss, White House Council on Environmental Quality and may sessions that highlight the important issues and services provided by our coasts and oceans. You can participate remotely via oceanslive.org

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Posted by on in GOMURC Program News

There are now many eNewsletters and social network services to follow. . . or not?! GOMURC offers a pdf summary of links to these services related to Gulf of Mexico science and education, accessible via the GOMURC newsletter page.

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

Save The Dates!

Houston, TX-- State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit, March 26-28, 2017, and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All-Hands Meeting, March 29-30, 2017.

For the first time, these important regional conferences will meet back-to-back at the Omni Houston Hotel,4 Riverway, Houston, Texas 77056.

GOMA's 2016 All-hands meeting is June 15-16 in Baton Rouge.

The post-DWH oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment is complete. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are preparing to make remainders of physical samples, preserved pending the resolution of the legal case, available to the scientific community. The Trustees' notice with instructions for sample requests is available here.

collecting floating oil

The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) and the Consortium of Marine Research Institutions of the Gulf of Mexico (CIIMAR-GOM) signed an agreement amendment to continue their partnership to support Gulf of Mexico environmental science and education. The original MOU created in 2014 is extended through 2017. The agreement has forged closer ties between the science community, for example, providing resources to enable students and scientists to attend science conferences in the partner countries. Dr. Christopher D'Elia, LSU (at right in pic), signed MOU amendment on behalf of GOMURC; his comments are here. Dr. Jose Manuel Pina Gutierrez, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, signed for CIIMAR-GOM. 

Dr. Pina and Dr. D'Elia (right) MOU signees

April 20, 2016, is the 6th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the northern Gulf of Mexico. To coincide with the anniversary of the spill, the CIMAGE II consortium offers events and information about the research and recovery efforts since the 2010 oil spill: 

April 20, 2016, 2p ET and 7p ET (7p and 12a GMT):  'Dispatches from the Gulf' Screening: A live stream of the 'Dispatches from the Gulf' will be held today via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ScreenscopeJ2PE/live. The documentary highlights research from Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative researchers following the oil spill. The film features C-IMAGE summer Mud & Blood sampling cruises aboard the R/V Weatherbird II operated by the Florida Institute of Oceanography.

Facebook event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/250797638598330/ 

 

The Loop Podcast Series: eight part series features USF and C-IMAGE researchers studying ecosystem modeling, high pressure experiments, and the comparison of Deepwater Horizon to Ixtoc I spills. http://www.marine.usf.edu/c-image/resources/media-player

 

Tagged in: GOMRI outreach

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

BP's civil settlement "consent decree" was finalized this week. Environmental Law Institute has a useful summary of the $16.7B settlement.  

Posted by on in Gulf Opportunities

National Academies Gulf Research Program is now hiring positions.

Tagged in: Gulf of Mexico jobs NAS

On April 4, 2016, nearly 6 years after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP and Justice finalized terms for civil claims bringing BP's total payments to $20.8 billion. As described by the Justice Department, "This historic settlement resolves the U.S. government’s civil penalty claims under the Clean Water Act, the governments’ claims for natural resources damage claims under the Oil Pollution Act, and also implements a related settlement of economic damage claims of the Gulf States and local governments" (DoJ settlement page).

Tagged in: funding litigation news

On March 28, 2016, Elizabeth (Libby) Fetherston assumed leadership of the Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP). Libby has spent the past five years with the Ocean Conservancy fighting for Gulf environmental recovery and has a strong resource management and conservation background.

The Environmental Law Institute's Ocean Program continues to develop informative resources to keep stakeholders updated on Gulf of Mexico recovery efforts. Their new Introduction to Gulf Recovery provides easy access to many of these resources.

Tagged in: outreach restoration

Following last month’s release of the Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Statement, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have issued a Record of Decision. This explains their decision to select the comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration alternative evaluated in the plan as their approach for restoration implementation. If the court approves the global settlement currently filed by the Department of Justice, the Trustees can begin to develop project-specific restoration plans based on the guidelines established by the final plan.

 

The Florida Institute of Oceanography has announced the release of their second RFP. RFP II # FLRACEP-2016-01 is focused on comprehensive ecosystem monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico region. Proposals are due June 3, 2016 at 5:00PM ET. For more detail, see the FL RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence RFP II website. The RFP can be viewed in its entirety here.  

The Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Program is hosting two new seminars in April. Detail below:

 

Chilling with your chums: How did the oil spill impact Gulf Fisheries?

April 6, 2016 in Austin, TX

To register: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/presentations/chilling-with-your-chums/

During this social, local scientists will speak about the impact that the oil spill has had on managed fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Questions: Contact Chris Hale with Texas Sea Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 361.825.6215 or Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 251.348.5439.

 

Where did the oil go?

April 14, 2016 in Mobile, AL
To register: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/presentations/oil-spill-science-seminar-where-did-the-oil-go/

Scientists will discuss where the oil went through out the Gulf of Mexico. Topics being covered include transport of oil, oil recovery, the natural breakdown of oil as well as breakdown due to weathering, marine snow, and oil in the water column and on the seafloor. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

 

Questions: Contact Monica Wilson with Florida Sea Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 727.553.3516 or Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 251.348.5439.

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

Looking for all the potential Restoration funding opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico? The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program is currently hosting a calendar on their website that has just that. The three year calendar contains information on currently planned future opportunities for programs in the Gulf region that have received funding as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The calendar and more details can be found here. Additional opportunities and details may be released as funding programs develop. 

 

Consortium for Ocean Leadership and Sea Grant are hosting a workshop titled, Sharing Oil Spill Science with Non-Scientists: Effectively Communicating Complex Research Results through Outreach and Education Programs prior to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference. Registration to the conference is not necessary to attend the workshop. If you are interested in attending, you can find a full agenda here. The workshop is in the Grand Salon I at the Marriott Tampa Waterside on February 1 from 12:30pm-5:15pm.

Posted by on in Gulf Policy

BOEM recently posted the final rulemaking for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). Entitled "Allocation and Disbursement of Royalties, Rentals, and Bonuses—Oil and Gas, Offshore," a key action is to set allocations for revenue sharing by the states of TX, LA, AL, and MS in Phase II to commence in 2017. A news description of the regulation and its implication is in Houmatoday.com.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for their Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program (GCCGP). The GCCGP supports priority conservation needs of the Gulf that are not otherwise expected to be funded under NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund or other funding opportunities associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Program priorities are to support critical gaps in Gulf Coast conservation and catalyze conservation solutions through innovation and technology. Please see grant request page for project metrics.

The GCCGP anticipates awarding $3-$5 million in grants, each typically ranging from $50,000 - $250,000 lasting 12-24 months. There is a minimum 1:1 match requirement. Full proposals are due January 28, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Awards expected to be announced May 2016.

 

Additional details, including how to apply can be found here

Tagged in: Deadline funding

Today, the Department of the Treasury final rule implementing the RESTORE Act was published in the Federal Register. This rule combines the comprehensive interim final rule and the Louisiana Parish Allocation Formula interim final rule.  The interim final rules will remain effective until February 12, 2016.  At that, time the final rule is in effect. The final rule takes into account public comments provided to Treasury on the comprehensive interim final rule. The Federal Register final rule document can be found here

The National Academy of Science has announced the 9 recipients of their 2015 Gulf Research Program data synthesis grants. These total more than $4.4 million. A list of award recipients, grant research topics and summaries can be found here

Tagged in: data funding NAS research

On Wednesday, December 9 at 10:00 am CT, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet to vote on the Initial Funded Priorities List (FPL) and the Spill Impact Component Rule in accordance with the RESTORE Act. The public is invited to attend. Open house begins at 9:00 am CT. Meeting agenda and other important materials, such as comments received and the initial FPL being voted on are now available on the Council’s website. The meeting is being held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center: 2350 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39531. 

GOMRI awards $38 million to Study Effects of Oil on the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) Research Board announced it will award nearly $38 million to study the effects of oil on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and public health. A total of 22 research proposals are being funded under this most recent GOMRI program. This round of funding is in response to GOMRI’s fifth RFP and will support research during 2016-2018. To see a full list of the funded principal investigators, their institutions and their proposal titles, see the official press release found here.

 

 

 

NOAA Ocean Exploration Funding Opportunity

“NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) is soliciting pre-proposals followed by full proposals for bold, innovative, multi-partner, interdisciplinary ocean exploration projects in the following areas of interest: 1) physical, chemical and biological characterizations of unknown or poorly known regions of the deep ocean, especially areas deeper than 500 m. 2) baseline characterization of marine archaeological resources at any depth; and 3) technology that advances ocean exploration and has application to NOAA related missions. Through this announcement, NOAA OER anticipates the availability of approximately $3 million. The actual funding amount is contingent upon FY 2016 Congressional appropriations. OER estimates making 3-10 awards that will range from about $50,000 to $1.5 million. Funding for ship or submersible assets, if required, must be included in the proposal. Leveraging with ship time supported outside of this funding opportunity is strongly encouraged.”

 

For more information, see the grant information found here

Tagged in: funding GOMRI NOAA

Updated Oil Pollution Research and Technology Plan Released

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR) released an updated version of the Oil Pollution Research and Technology Plan (OPRTP) for FY 2015-2021. As stated in the executive summary, the purpose of this version is to “provide current assessments of the oil pollution research needs and priorities. ICCOPR intends to update this OPRTP every six years to reflect advancements in oil pollution technology and changing research needs.” This version contains 2 parts, the Oil Pollution Research section explains why this research is needed and presents the Oil Pollution Research Categorization Framework. The second section, Establishing Research Priorities, presents research needs. The full report can be found here.

 

 

Sea Grant Seminar, Dec 8, “Exploring Oil Spill Impacts in the Deep Gulf of Mexico”

 

Sea Grant is hosting a seminar, “Exploring Oil Spill Impacts in the Deep Gulf of Mexico” on December 8th in Corpus Christi, TX. The seminar is free to attend and also available as webinar if you are unable to join in person. More details on the seminar including registration, webinar information and a list of speakers can be found here

Tagged in: outreach science webinar

Interested in how the Deepwater Horizon impacted the Gulf of Mexico and the species that live there? View GOMURC’s Prezi presentation, Deepwater Horizon: By the Numbers. This presentation highlights statistics from the “Plan for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resources Injury Restoration: An Overview” report released by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council.

 

We encourage you to review the Trustees’ Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and submit public comment, now being accepted through December 4, 2015.

 

 

New to Prezi? Directions:

·         Click on the following link to bring you to our presentation. You do not need an account to view the Prezi.

o   http://prezi.com/wurdl44vtce3/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

·         You can view the presentation in 2 ways, in the standard window you’re brought to simply by clicking the link or in full screen mode by selecting the square like icon in the bottom right corner of the presentation window. Views best in full screen mode.

o   To procced through presentation use the right and left arrows at the bottom of the presentation window. If in full screen mode hover your mouse over the very bottom of the presentation to bring up these arrows. You can also use the left and right arrows on your keyboard.

o   To zoom in for a closer look, hover mouse over right side of presentation until + and – show or use rollerball on mouse.

o   To explore the content outside of the set presentation flow, with your mouse over the presentation screen, left click and hold to drag the screen where you want to go.

 

§  Simply click the right arrow to pick up where you left off in the presentation. 

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) are holding public meetings seeking comments on the proposed Consent Decree with BP and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft PDARP/PEIS). Meetings listed below.

Long Beach, MS

Oct. 20, 2015;  5PM-9PM

730 E Beach Blvd, Long Beach, MS 39560

 

New Orleans, LA

Oct. 22, 2015;  5PM-9PM

South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

 

Mobile, AL

Oct. 26, 2015;  6PM-10PM

26 N Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602

 

Pensacola, FL

Oct. 27, 2015;  6PM-10PM

201 E Gregory St, Pensacola, FL 32502

 

Saint Petersburg, FL

Oct. 29, 2015;  5PM-9PM

333 1st St SE, St Petersburg, FL 33701

 

Galveston, TX

Nov. 10, 2015;  6PM-10PM

5400 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551

 

Washington, DC

Nov 18, 2015;  5PM-9PM

1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

For more details on the Consent Decree visit http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon and on the Draft PDARP/PEIS, visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

 

Written comment be submitted through December 4, 2015:

For the Consent Decree:

  • Online: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon
  • By U.S. Mail: U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611, and should refer to  U.S. v. BP Exploration and Production et al, Civil No. 10-4536 (E.D. La.)  (centralized in MDL 2179:  In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2012), D.J. Ref. 90-5-1-1-10026

 For the Draft PDARP/PEIS:

 

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced that the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) has been selected as their state’s RESTORE Research Center of Excellence.

MBRACE is a consortium made up of Mississippi’s four major research institutions: the University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, the University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. The University of Southern Mississippi will serve as the lead institution with the MBRACE program administered within the University’s Center for Gulf Studies.

 

Full press release can be found here

US and five Gulf of Mexico states announced settlement to resolve civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon platform) blowout and the resulting massive oil spill that followed; the BP Consent Decree is now available for public comments via http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon. Comment period ends Dec. 4, 2015.

Deepwater Horizon Trustees Propose Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico: Trustees seeking public comment on draft plan, which would allocate up to $8.8 billion for restoration from proposed settlement with BP-- plan and instructions for comments at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/

Stated in the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council’s press release

“On Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) posted for public and Tribal comment and review proposed regulation to implement the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act. The regulation will establish the formula allocating funds made available from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund) among the Gulf Coast States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas pursuant to Sec. 1603(3) of the RESTORE Act.

 

This proposed regulation, is available for public and Tribal review and comment through Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015.”

 

The draft regulation can be viewed here. Public comment can be submitted here,  by mail, email, or in person. 

ELI releases a new set of educational materials on Gulf restoration targeted for people unfamiliar with the restoration process. The materials focus on the natural resources damage assessment (NRDA), the RESTORE Act, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) funds. Included are one-page summaries for each of the processes, a one-page overview of all three processes, and a guide to public commenting

Abstract Deadline Extended for Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference

The deadline to submit your abstract for an oral presentation to the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference has been extended to September 24, 2015 at 11:59PM Pacific. Abstracts received after this date will be considered only for poster presentations.

Submit an abstract here.

 

Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Program Releases New Publications

The Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program has released 2 publications:

Fisheries Landings and Disasters in the Gulf of Mexico  Learn about historical fisheries landings data within the context of manmade and natural disasters. Explore why this data is important for fisheries management. Click here to open the publication: https://gulfseagrant.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/oil-spill-science-fisheries-management.pdf

 

 

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’s Impact on Gulf Seafood  Learn about the results of federal, state and independent seafood testing after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Click here to open the publication: https://gulfseagrant.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/oil-spill-science-impact-on-gulf-seafood.pdf

The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program has completed its first funding competition and awarded approximately $2.7 million to seven research teams. These teams and their projects were selected following a rigorous and highly competitive process which included a review by a panel of outside experts. The awards range in size from $309,000 to $400,000 and the projects will run for up to two years. Full details on each team and their project can be found under the Research page on the Science Program’s website.

FL Center of Excellence Program Announces 10 Funded Projects

The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) led FL RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program announced the ten projects selected to receive DWH oil spill penalties to work to improve the health of the Gulf. These projects were selected through an expert peer review process and will be funded for 2 year. For details on the projects, see the announcement released on FIO’s Facebook page.

 

Public Meetings Addressing RESTORE Council’s Draft FPL

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is hosting a series of public meeting across the Gulf to discuss the draft Initial Funded Priorities List released on August 13, 2015 to seek public and tribal comments. The draft FPL is available for review and comment through Sept. 28, 2015. Below is a list of the remaining public meetings.

 

Aug. 26, 2015; 6PM EDT

FWC Fish & Wildlife Research Institute

100 Eighth Ave. SE

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

 

Aug. 27, 2015; 6PM CDT

Gulf Coast State College

5230 West US Hwy. 98

Panama City, FL 32401

 

Sept. 1, 2015; 6PM CDT

Battle House Renaissance Mobile

26 North Royal St.

Mobile, AL 36602

 

Sept. 10, 2015; 5PM CDT

Coast Coliseum & Convention Center

2350 Beach Blvd.

Biloxi, MS 39531

 

Sept. 15, 2015; 5:30PM CDT

Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center

2000 Lakeshore Drive

New Orleans, LA 70148

 

Sept. 16, 2015; 5:30 PM CDT

Morgan City Municipal Auditorium

728 Myrtle St.

Morgan City, LA 70380

*Full meeting details can be found at www.restorethegulf.gov.

 

 

Registration Open for 2016 GoM Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference

 

Registration is now open for the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference. Early registration closes November 20, 2015. Online registration closes January 24, 2016. Onsite registration will be available. 

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its initial list of restoration projects to be included on its "Final Priorities List."  As stated at the Council web site, "Using funds from the settlement with Transocean Deepwater Inc., the Council is seeking to provide near-term, on-the-ground ecosystem benefits, while also conducting planning activities designed to build a foundation for future success as additional funds become available from other parties." These funds will include funding from the recent BP civil settlement.

LUMCON Releases 2015 Hypoxia Update:

On August 4, 2015, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) issued a press release with a summary addressing 2015’s hypoxic findings in the northern Gulf of Mexico. According to the summary, “This year’s ‘Dead Zone” is the size of Connecticut and Rhode combined, and is the 11th largest in size since the area has been mapped beginning in 1985. It is 28 percent larger than in 2014.” The full press release can be found here. You can also visit the Gulf Hypoxia web site at http://www.gulfhypoxia.net for maps, figures, additional graphics and more information concerning this summer’s research cruise and previous cruises.

 

 

Abstracts Due for 2016 GoM Oil Spill Conference:

The 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (Feb 1-4, 2016; Tampa, FL) is now accepting abstracts. The theme for the 2016 conference is “One Gulf: healthy ecosystems, healthy communities.” Details on the conference sessions can be found here. Deadline for submittal is September 18, 2015.

 

Tri-international and International Marine Conferences November 2015

 

The Tri-international Initiative for Marine Research and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean conference will be held November 13 & 14, 2015. The 10th Biannual International Marine and Coastal Science Conference will be held in November 16-20, 2015. Both will be held in Havana, Cuba

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program posted a new Request for Proposal on July 28. They are soliciting proposals that address water quality improvements; coast habitat and ecosystems enhancements, restoration and/or protection; environmental education and outreach; and strengthen community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region and its watersheds. They anticipate funding approximately 15 cooperative agreements from the available $3.5 million.

 

For more details, see the full RFP. Proposals are due no later than 5:00PM ET on September 15, 2015.

Recently, NOAA launched DIVER Explorer (Data Integration Visualization Exploration and Reporting), a data warehouse and query tool of the validated Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) data resulting from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) NRDA. DIVER also contains analytical chemistry and bioassay data collected under the DWH Response, historical Gulf Coast sampling data and continues to add new data as it is validated. Guided and custom queries are possible due to DIVER standardizing the data entered. More information about the data contained is available on their overview page.

 

 

In addition to the “Oil Spill Science Seminar: Impacts of Oil on Coast Habitats” on July 22 in Temple Terrace, FL, Sea Grant’s Oil Spill and Outreach team has two more seminars in August.

 

Navigating Shifting Sands: Oil on our Beaches, August 5, Pensacola, FL

Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Gulf Wetlands, August 11, Slidell, LA

Details on all three seminars can be found here. The workshops are free, but registration is required.

 

 

 

 

 

A press release issued on June 30, 2015 announced “...Texas is the first state in the nation to receive money from the RESTORE Trust Fund through a federal award to fund two Centers of Excellence. The two centers, Texas OneGulf at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the Subsea Systems Institute at the University of Houston, will split an initial $4.036 million.”

 

The Environmental Law Institute’s Ocean Program has launched the Public Participation Bulletin Board. This new resource highlights ways the public can get involved in restoration in their state and throughout the region.

 

The Harte Research Institute (HRI) has a new site, GecoView.org, a companion site to their GecoServ.org webpage, to help users understand the critical benefits of coastal habitats. GecoView.org is based on an ESRI platform using a story map to help organize and present information. According to information provided by Sea Grant, a funder of this project, “The project’s goal was to determine how much people in each state would be willing to pay — if at all — for the conservation of Gulf habitats. This willingness-to-pay concept is a standard approach to measuring economic value for non-market benefits, and in this study, passive-use services.” The site went live in May 2015 and will be continually updated and maintained.

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration - Archives

The US Attorney General press release, "Total Value of Settlement Would Top $18.7 Billion, the Largest Settlement with a Single Entity in American History" describes the settlement with BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill damages. The web site includes a fact sheet that summarizes the "agreement in principle."

According to the press release issued June 16, 2015, “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) have extended the public comment period for the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments (Draft). The Draft proposes an additional 10 early restoration projects with an estimated cost of $134 million across the Gulf states. The Draft is now available for public review and comment through July 6 rather than the original deadline of June 19.” Written comments can be submitted online at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov or by mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345.

 

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are holding a seminar on Impacts of Oil on Coastal Communities. According to their website, where you can also find more details including a list of speakers, “Scientists will be sharing their work on the effects of oil on salt marshes, wetlands, mangroves, and beaches.” The free seminar will be held on Wednesday, July 22 at 1:00PM – 4:30PM ET in Temple Terrace, FL. You can register to attend in person or remotely here.

 

The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA) was initiated in 2012 by multiple Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to assess the vulnerability of the multitude of ecosystems and associated species they support across the US portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The GCVA draft is now available for review. Public comment is being accepted by the GCVA Coordinator, Amanda Watson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until July 19, 2015. For more details please see their website.

 

 

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) announced Gulf Star, a public-private partnership that provides funding for projects identified by the GOMA Priority Issue Teams to accomplish the objectives of Action Plan III. “The goal of the Gulf Star program is to facilitate partnerships between the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and outside funders who wish to use their investments strategically to achieve measurable results…” Announcement of their first RFP is expected for January-February 2016 after the Governors’ Action Plan III is signed in late 2015. For more details on Gulf Star, visit their webpage

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is accepting proposals for Scientific Sessions for the 2016 conference. The deadline to submit a session proposal is June 14, 2015.

They are also accepting requests for Associated Events and Workshops to be help Monday, February 1.

As stated on the event website, “The 2016 conference theme, “One Gulf: healthy ecosystems, healthy communities,” will focus on opportunities to promote and sustain a healthy Gulf environment, communities, and economy, including new discoveries, innovations, technologies, and policies. A strong emphasis this year will be placed on the human dimensions of oil spill in addition to the ecosystem science research that has led past conferences.”

 

The conference will be held Feb 1-4, 2016 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside in Tampa, Florida. More details can be found here

Latest NOAA study ties Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the spike in Gulf dolphin deaths. Studies completed by independent and government scientists have found signs of illness associated with exposure to petroleum products, particularly in the form of rare lesions on their lungs and adrenal glands, in many of these bottlenose dolphin deaths. As stated on NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration website, “The timing, location, and nature of the lesions support that oil compounds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused these lesions and contributed to the high numbers of dolphin deaths within this oil spill’s footprint.” For more on this see NOAA’s statement and the peer reviewed study in PLOS ONE.

 

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees are accepting public comment through June 19 on the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments. The plan is available for review online here. Other useful links including the public comment portal and overview fact sheet can be found on the Gulf Spill Restoration website. More details on the plan, including a list of meetings a copy can be found at and the projects included, please see the press release.

 

 

The Florida Institute of Oceanography has posted a job listing to fill the FIO Director position. This position is located in Saint Petersburg, FL at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg campus. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but submittal no later than July 15, 2015 is recommended. For more details on the position including qualifications, please see the job listing

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council released solicitation for proposal for the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence Research Grant Program on May 13. Non-governmental entities and consortia, including public and private institutes of higher learning in the Gulf Coast Region can submit proposals to serve as Alabama’s Center of Excellence. Proposals are due June 30, 2015 at 4:00PM CST. More details on the scope of work, submission requirements and the selection process can be found here.

 

 

Reminder: Full Proposals to Florida’s Center of Excellence Grants Program are due Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 5:00PM ET. Awards are expected to be announced July 1. To view the request for proposals, FAQs and to submit a proposal, visit the site here

From their announcement, “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the final version of the science plan for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program.  The plan establishes ten long-term research priorities which will guide how the program invests its funds and explains how prior needs assessments for the Gulf of Mexico region and earlier stakeholder input were used to determine these areas of investment. The plan also provides additional information on how the program is administered and how the program works with partners.”

 

An overview of NOAA’s response to comments received during the public comment period on the draft version of the plan is now available in the Federal Register announcement. They address NOAA’s role, program scope, clarification of priorities, performance measures, coordination and engagement, and other issues.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene on April 29, 2015, at 9:30 AM ET for a hearing entitled, “Five Years After Deepwater Horizon: Improvements and Challenges in Prevention and Response.” More details including the witness list and live streaming can be found here

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