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Posted by on in Gulf Policy

From American Federation of Teachers (AFT), "If the [proposed] Republican tax plan passes, it will not be possible for many graduate students across the country to afford their education. Their [Republican-led] bill will force them to pay hundreds of dollars more in taxes by treating tuition waivers - the tuition that is waived by universities as compensation for their work as teaching and research assistants - as taxable income, a tax bill they can’t afford on the salary of a graduate assistant."

Please share and sign on if you care!

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality invites all to attend the 2nd Annual Mississippi Restoration Summit on November 14, 2017 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center. The Restoration Summit is an opportunity for any member of the public to learn about current restoration projects in Mississippi and the announcement of new projects for 2017. For more information and registration see the Summit web site. For questions about the Summit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GoMA) maintains a comprehensive calendar with the Summit and many more relevant Gulf events.

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The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) have contracted with the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) to assist with scientific reviews of projects and programs funded under the RESTORE Act Council-funded Restoration and Spill Impact Components (RESTORE Buckets 2 and 3). They are in the process of developing a Best Available Science reviewer database for reviews of Council proposals and applications, and appreciate your help in circulating this message throughout your organization. Ask them to consider filling out the attached Reviewer Application if interested, and return it along with their CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by December 31, 2017. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

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Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean including billions in property damages and more than 80 lost lives. The past weeks have been about rescues and personal recovery, which will continue for years. We also need to focus on the next level of recovery in rebuilding island economies and infrastructure. Related to GOMURC's mission, the marine science community in the PR/VI has many needs which our Gulf universities have capacity to help. Here are example actions to consider based on input from affected colleagues:

1)      Work with our PR/VI colleagues to assess damages and immediate needs for supplies and equipment. Students and investigators need lab space—open your doors!

EXAMPLE RESOURCES:

2)      Raise funding and resources required to address these needs and get required resources to where they are needed.

EXAMPLE RESOURCES:

3)      Utilize GOMURC member assets to help support PR/VI research to assess environmental damages and promote recovery. All of CARICOOS observing assets in PR/VI remain down.

EXAMPLE RESOURCES:

Please contribute however you can and pass the word.

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Tagged in: funding outreach storms

Posted by on in Gulf Events

Registration for the 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science (GOMOSES) conference has commenced-- register here. As described on the conference site, the title this year is "Response, Restoration, and Resiliency in the Gulf."

Since its inception in 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) has sought to link fundamental research on the Gulf ecosystem to practical application. The 2018 theme, “Response, Restoration, and Resiliency in the Gulf,” continues this trend, exploring how fundamental science can help restore and maintain Gulf ecosystem integrity, inform response strategies, and strengthen resilience. This year’s program will also emphasize cross-cutting discussions among academics, industry, government agencies, and public interest organizations.

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Email from NSF Directorate, September 18, 2017:

"Dear Colleagues:

With the second major hurricane – Hurricane Irma – to strike the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its staff remain strongly committed to supporting the people and institutions affected by these storms. Now that the consequences of these disasters are upon us, new science and engineering questions are being raised. Through this Dear Colleague Letter, NSF encourages the submission of proposals that seek to address the challenges related to Hurricane Irma. NSF also will support fundamental science and engineering research projects whose results may enable our country to better prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate future catastrophic events. Research proposals relating to a better fundamental understanding of the impacts of the storm (both physical, biological and societal), human aspects of natural disasters (including first responders and the general public), emergency response methods, and approaches that promise to reduce future damage also are welcome.

With NSF support, researchers have a long history of advancing understanding and knowledge about natural and built environments, as well as the relationship between humans and their environments in the context of large-scale disasters. Fundamental science and technological advancements are vital to our continued improvement of disaster preparation and restoration. For example, NSF-funded research has advanced understanding of the mechanisms that cause levee failures, gained new knowledge on the performance of critical infrastructure, and supported efforts to improve flood water decontamination. Researchers also have improved our ability to better predict, with longer lead times, the path of tropical cyclones. NSF support for researchers has led to the deployment of underwater rescue robots in an effort to safeguard emergency workers, developed real-time flood potential models, conducted effectiveness assessments of oil plume dispersants, assessed and advised better hazard-resistant buildings, and developed liquefaction mitigation methods in response to earthquakes. In addition, NSF-funded researchers have made ground-breaking discoveries about the long-term psychological and emotional impacts of national disasters.

Multiple proposal mechanisms are available to conduct new research related to Hurricane Irma.

  • RAPID: Proposals focusing on projects with severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural disasters. RAPID proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief and may not exceed 5 pages, with a maximum request of $200K for one year, although many are much smaller. See the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.E.1 for instructions on preparation of a RAPID proposal. (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE1).
  • EAGER: Proposals to conduct fundamental research representing exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This research may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. EAGER proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief, and may not exceed 8 pages. Requests may be up to $300K and with a maximum award duration of two years. See PAPPG Chapter II.E.2 for instructions on preparation of an EAGER proposal (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE2).
  • Supplements to existing awards: Small amounts of supplemental funding to existing awards may be requested. See PAPPG Chapter VI.E.4 for instructions on preparation of a supplemental funding request (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_6.jsp#VIE4).

To submit a RAPID, EAGER or supplemental funding request, investigators must contact the NSF Program Officer most closely related to the proposal topic before submitting, to determine if the proposed activities meet NSF's guidelines for these types of submissions or whether the proposed work is more suitable for submission as an unsolicited proposal. The contact people listed below, one from each NSF directorate, can help investigators identify the appropriate Program Officer.

Proposals submitted pursuant to this DCL may request the use of NSF-funded advanced computing resources such as Blue Waters or Stampede2. In these cases, investigators must contact the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) prior to submission of the proposal.

Proposals may be submitted at any time.

Investigators with general questions are advised to contact one of the following Directorate liaisons:

BIO: Elizabeth Blood, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-4349

CISE: David Corman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-8745

EHR: David Campbell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-5093

ENG: Joy Pauschke, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7024

GEO: Mike Sieracki, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7585

MPS: John Gillaspy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7173

OAC: Ed Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-4863

SBE: Robert (Bob) O'Connor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7263

Signed by:

James Olds, AD BIO

James Kurose, AD CISE

James Lewis, AD EHR

Dawn Tilbury, AD ENG

William Easterling, AD GEO

James Ulvestad, AD MPS

Fay Cook, AD SBE

Suzanne Iacono, Office Head, OIA"

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Do you need disaster assistance?

GOMURC consortia stand ready to assist marine labs hit by the recent hurricanes by connecting with other universities in the region. Consortia contacts are at http://gomurc.fio.usf.edu/index.php/about-us/organization

Government assistance:

Other resources that may help:

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

Hurricane Harvey impacts will be felt for years to come.  Texas Sea Grant created an online webpage for post-disaster recovery resources. The posted websites, publications and videos were developed by other Sea Grant programs and state and regional agencies. The page will be updated as new information is made available and vetted. 

AL.com offers an excellent summary of other ways we can all help out Gulf neighbors!

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The Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) is seeking qualified applicants to succeed longtime Executive Director Holly Greening, who is retiring in February 2018. The successful applicant will have demonstrated experience in effectively managing multi-entity environmental, scientific and/or engineering programs; fostering and maintaining collaborative approaches to complex environmental issues; the ability to facilitate consensus among diverse and sometimes conflicting stakeholders; success in raising funds from public and private sectors, including federalstate and local grants; and the ability to manage an effective and talented staff.  The complete job listing is posted here.

Deadline to apply is 2 p.m. Friday, October 6.

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science 2018 conference is ready to receive abstracts and session proposals. The conference will be held in New Orleans on February 5-8, 2018.

Abstracts should promote fundamental Gulf ecosystem science or link scientific results to ecosystem resilience, oil spill response, or restoration and management. Abstract submissions will be accepted for topical tracks; mini-sessions and concurrent sessions will be developed based on the abstracts received. Papers not selected for oral presentations will have the opportunity to participate in the poster session.

Students are encouraged to submit abstracts; the Gulf Research Program, Harte Research Institute, and the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative have generously offered to cover registration fees for student presenters whose abstracts are accepted as oral or poster presentations to the conference program.

The deadline to submit an abstract is September 11, 2017. Applicants will be notified of abstract acceptance/rejection by late-October. You do not need to register for the conference to submit an abstract. Each person may submit up to two (2) abstracts as lead author.

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Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is asking partners from across the Gulf to participate in National Estuaries Week, September 16-23, 2017, in events across the nation. RAE's web page provides a calendar of events, example social media posts, congressional resolutions and State proclamations supporting this cause.

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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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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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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. 

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

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.

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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

Tomorrow, April 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM ET the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources will be holding an oversight hearing on “Innovations in Safety Since the 2010 Macondo Incident.” The hearing memo including the witness list can be found here.  The hearing is available for live streaming here.

 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a report, “Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Tourism in the Gulf of Mexico Region.” As stated in the technical announcement, “To better understand the various impacts of the DWH oil spill on tourism in the Gulf region, the Eastern Research Group (ERG) undertook four methodological approaches… The varied methodologies reveal a complex pattern of impacts and provide important lessons to be learned about the impacts of an oil spill on tourism.” A technical summary of the report is available here.

 

 

 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has released a new report, “Charting Restoration” that compares funded projects against Gulf restoration priorities identified in restoration- and conservation-related plans five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. As stated on TNC’s website, “One of the main findings of the report is that the majority of funding to date has gone towards restoring the environment, which shows a solid alignment with the identified priorities. The report also shows that clean water, community resilience and healthy marine plants and animals are top priorities across the Gulf yet a limited number of projects have been funded with a primary focus on these issues.” For further information, the report can be found here

The National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program announced a new funding opportunity in data synthesis. They are looking for “activities that will integrate or synthesize existing data from different sources that may provide additional insights, address important questions, or lead to new approaches to interpreting monitoring data.” The online application will open May 2015. They anticipate funding 10 to 14 awards for a total of $5 million. Awards will most likely be for 24 months disbursed in 2 installments. For more details, please see the grant’s details here.

 

 

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) has launched their new Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker. This tracker allows visitors to see where Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill restoration projects are occurring. Each project listed includes a brief description, contact and link to access more technical information. GOMA is working directly with the groups funding projects related to oil spill restoration to ensure accuracy. The tracker’s development team is hosting a demonstration followed by a Q&A opportunity on Thursday, April 23 at 1PM EDT. You can join the webinar here.  

The Environmental Law Institute is offering a free webinar on International Deep Seabed Mining.

“This webinar will bring together some of the foremost experts on deep seabed mining to discuss this pressing issue. Of particular relevance are the International Seabed Authority’s Draft Framework for the Regulation of Exploitation Activities, released in draft form on March 13 an open for public comment until May 15. In light of these important legal developments and advances in scientific understanding, now is the time to pause to consider the special nature of the deep ocean and how to best manage it.”

Visit the webinar page for more details or you can register for the event here.

 

 

Did you know GOMURC is on social media? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow up on Twitter

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The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is offering a free seminar series on the Deepwater Horizon spill. The series will kick off on the fifth anniversary of the spill, April 20 at 6PM at the Caylor Auditorium. The seminars “offers a retrospective exploration of the spill through presentations by research staff and discussions among speakers, education staff and attendees to answer pressing questions.” The series concludes with GOMURC board member and Interim Director of GCRL, Dr. Monty Graham's presentation Where do we go from here? Future directions in oil spill research on July 13. Visit here for more details.

 

The recording for Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico, a webinar cohosted by GOMURC, the Environmental Law Institute, and the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs, is available for viewing. If you were not able to attend the webinar but are interested in this exciting and important subject matter, you can view the webinar here. Written summary coming soon. 

 

 

Members from GOMURC’s Board of Directors published a paper in the Gulf of Mexico Science journal vol. 31 nos. 1/2, 2013. Economic Impact of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Goods and Services and Integration Into Restoration Decision-Making is available for download here. You can also view it on GOMURC’s website here.

 

 

Ever wonder what it looks like near the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico? Now you can find out. Live video is streaming from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s expedition on the Nautilus at http://www.nautiluslive.org/.  

 

Reminder: Free Webinar on Climate Change, Community Resilience and Restoration in the Gulf, April 10

GOMURC is co-hosting a free webinar on Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico with the Environmental Law Institute and the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs. The webinar will be Friday, April 10, 2:00-4:00PM ET (1:00-3:00PM CT) and you can register here.

Don’t miss out on this exciting and important discussion!

 

NOAA’s Education Council is soliciting general comments on the latest update of the NOAA Education Strategic Plan 2015 – 2035: Advancing NOAA’s Mission through Education, planned to be released later in 2015.  The Plan outlines the goals and objectives that NOAA Education will strive to achieve over the next 20 years. Comments must be received by April 10, 2015 and can be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., include “Education Plan Public Comment” in the subject line. Or via mail to Marissa Jones, NOAA Office of Education, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20230. Include “Education Plan Public Comment” on the envelope. More details here.

 

 

The National Research Council has a project to gather an ad hoc committee to inform monitoring and evaluation of restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico. The committee will identify best practices for monitoring and evaluating restoration activities to improve the performance of restoration programs and increase the effectiveness and longevity of restoration projects. More information can be found here. A list of potential committee members can be found here. They are currently taking comments on the committee appointments with the commenting period ending on April 8. 

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is currently evaluating submissions for potential funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component. As part of this process, each submission was evaluated with respect to Budget, Science, Environmental Compliance, and consistency with the RESTORE Act and the Council’s Initial Comprehensive Plan. Context reports, including that of the external science review were created from these evaluations and are now available for viewing here.

Gulf Integrated Spill Research Consortium database of oceanographic and hydrocarbon data collected in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon spill is available for use. It is an online data repository that contains individual datasets pertaining to the Deepwater Horizon incident, as well as aggregate and standardized view that span multiple datasets. You can view the user guide here and request a login on the main page, here.  

Tagged in: data restoration science

Letters of Intent (LoI) are due to the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association (RA) office on April 17, 2015 by 5:00 PM CT. The GCOOS-RA Board of Directors has established a process for selection and preparation of proposals submitted. More information can be found here.

The Board of Directors intends to use the GCOOS list serve and website to solicit LoIs. Members to the GCOOS-RA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) or employees of members may submit LoIs. Entities that are not Members that are interested in submitting a LoI should sign the MoA to become a Member before submitting a LoI. The maximum request GCOOS will accept is $225,000/year. All LoIs and proposals should include plans for the maintenance of long-term financial support for the proposed activity

 

 

The full IOOS FFO can be found here

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National Wildlife Federation addresses the status of the Gulf of Mexico in their new report, Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Particularly, they look at how 20 types of wildlife are faring in the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill. While it may be years before we know the full extent of the impact from the spill, this report examines what the science tells us so far. 

In a new publication, Evidence of climate-driven ecosystem reorganization in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists reviewed over 100 indicators representing physical, biological, and economic aspects of the Gulf of Mexico and found that ecosystem-wide reorganization occurred.  They also analyzed these shifts and their alignment with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). They “provide an explanation for how the AMO may drive physical changes in the Gulf of Mexico, thus altering higher-level ecosystem dynamics. The hypotheses presented here should provide focus for further targeted studies, particularly in regard to whether and how management should adjust to different climate regimes or states of nature.”

 

The full report can be found here

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now seeking comments on their future plans for National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund. You can view their presentation on the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund 2015 Cycle here. As requested in the last page of the presentation, comments due to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 23, 2015. Be sure to use “NFWF Comment” in the subject line.  

 

Florida DEP has also launched a new restoration tracking map for Florida Deepwater Horizon restoration projects funded by Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), NFWF and other settlements. Each project also has a fact sheet with details about the project including estimated cost. 

This week BP released the report, Gulf of Mexico Environmental Recovery Restoration. In a message from Laura Folse, Executive Vice President, she states, “Areas that were affected are recovering and data BP has collected and analyzed to date do not indicate a significant long-term impact to the population of any Gulf species.” Many are saying this report is premature and cherry-picked.

The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, who are charged with scientifically establishing the damages caused by the spill, has release an official statement on the report.

“Citing scientific studies conducted by experts from around the Gulf, as well as this council, BP misinterprets and misapplies data while ignoring published literature that doesn’t support its claims and attempts to obscure our role as caretakers of the critical resources damaged by the spill.”

 

You can read full statement from the NRDA Trustees here. Many NGOs are also weighing in on the report such as this blog from National Wildlife Federation. 

GOMURC is co-hosting a free webinar on Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico with the Environmental Law Institute and the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs. The webinar will be Friday, April 10, 2:00-4:00PM ET (1:00-3:00PM CT) and you can register here. For more details, see below:

 

Many restoration planning documents and programs in the Gulf of Mexico highlight the need to address climate change impacts as part of the restoration framework. While precedent exists on how to integrate climate change into restoration decision-making, many post-Deepwater Horizon restoration projects fail to adequately address climate change impacts. At the same time, coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico region are both on the front line of climate impacts, as well as the ones hit hardest by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. This webinar will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration, focusing on the challenges of and opportunities for creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.

PANELISTS:

Dr. Kathryn Mengerink (Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute) Overview of Gulf Restoration Programs

Dr. Robert Twilley (Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant) Ecosystem Adaptation Climate Change Impacts on the Gulf Coast and Restoration Efforts

Jonathan Porthouse,(Senior Manager, Coastal Habitat Restoration, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund) Integrating Climate Change Impacts into Restoration Planning and Projects

Colette Pichon Battle, (Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy) Climate Impacts on Communities  and Options for Response

Dr. Tracie Sempier (Coastal Storms Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant) Climate Change Decision-Making by Coastal Communities

MODERATOR:

Andrew Shepard, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative

On Thursday, 2/19, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier declared that BP should face paying up to $4,300 in fines for each barrel of oil spilled during the Macando well blowout that spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days in 2010. This is the result of an attempt by BP to lower the fines they face from this catastrophic event to $3,000 per barrel, the amount set by the Clean Water Act in 1990. Barbier agreed with federal prosecutors that this amount should be adjusted for inflation.

In prior rulings, Judge Barbier declared that BP acted with “gross negligence” and that 3.19 million barrels of oil were spilled. BP faces a maximum of $13.7 billion fines.

 

For more details, see this article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Environmental Law Institute (ELI) has created a new online Restoration Projects Map that complements their Restoration Projects Database. These track where Deepwater Horizon restoration and recovery are taking place.

According to ELI, “Both the database and the map aim to support transparency and public engagement by tracking where restoration funds are being spent, and by providing details about specific projects. The database and map will be continually updated as projects are approved.”

NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Texas A&M University and the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees are hosting the 2015 Gulf Coast Sargassum Symposium on April 2nd & 3rd at the Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX.  Join in this informative and educational experience as presenters and panel members discuss all aspects of Sargassum. 

You can register for this conference and find more details here.  

The peer reviewed study  has found four distinct groupings of dolphin deaths within the Northern Gulf of Mexico Unusual Mortality Event (UME). Three of the groupings followed the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The scientists compared the number and demographics of dolphin deaths across the Gulf from January 2010–June 2013 to patterns from 1990–2009. They looked for distinct groupings of high numbers of dolphin deaths, both before and after the spill.

The Barataria Bay dolphin population was a focus of previous peer-reviewed study as part of the on-going Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). That study showed that live dolphins, which underwent physical examination, had adverse health impacts consistent with exposure to petroleum products.

The causes of the Northern Gulf UME are still under investigation. You can review the full study here.

This work was part of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment and the Northern Gulf Unusual Mortality Investigation being conducted cooperatively by NOAA, other federal and state agencies, and BP.

All project suggestions for potential Phase III funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund must be entered into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal by March 9, 2015. Go to www.alabamacoastalrestoration.orgto enter a new project suggestion or to review project suggestions currently in the portal.  For additional information on the NFWF GEBF, go to www.nfwf.org.

The National Water Quality Monitoring Council is offering a webinar on the Water Quality Portal (WQP) Wednesday, February 18th at 2:00PM ET. Pre-registration is required for this event.

This free webinar will go over the basic use of the WQP, which provides easy access to over 250 million discrete water quality sample results from over 2.1 million sites in a services-first, standards-driven environment. It will also feature a presentation by Jim Kreft of the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

You can pre-register for the webinar here. If you are unable to attend the webinar but would like to view it later, it will be posted, along with the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s other archived webinars on their YouTube channel. 

Tagged in: data education webinar

A Notice of Intent to solicit public input and prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary was published in the Federal Register.  You can find the Federal Register notice here.

Public comments related to this action must be received by April 6, 2015.

You can also find more information about the expansion at http://flowergarden.noaa.gov

The Interior Department and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announce draft strategy for offshore oil and gas leasing in 2017-2022. The proposal includes ten sales in the Gulf of Mexico, “one of the most productive basins in the world and where oil and gas infrastructure is well established.” The Draft Proposed Program and the Notice of Intent to Develop a Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be available for public comment for 60 days following the publication of the documents in the Federal Register.

 

 

Tagged in: economics energy news

Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) announces release of its first Request for Proposals for the Florida Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program-- http://www.fio.usf.edu/research/restore-act.

On February 17, 2015, 2:00-4:00PM, tentatively, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will give a FY16 Budget Briefing for stakeholders. This will be following the announcement of the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request expected during the week of February 2, which includes funding for NOAA.

Per NOAA communication, “NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan will lead the briefing and discussion at the Department of Commerce Auditorium, located at 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, D.C. NOAA's senior leadership will join Dr. Sullivan to answer questions and respond to comments.”

 

A toll-free teleconference number will also be provided for those who cannot attending in person. More information, including teleconference information is to come. 

 

The National Research Council released their new report Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences. This report identifies eight strategic research priorities for the next decade that will continue to advance scientific understanding of the ocean. The report is available for free download here.

You can also register for the public webinar being given Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 3:00PM EST. It will feature presentations by Shirley Pomponi and David Titley, co-chairs of the report’s authoring committee, followed by a Q & A session.

Over the next several weeks, members of the report’s authoring committee will be presenting a series of seminars at research institutions around the United States.

The 2015 All Hands Meeting for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance will be June 16-18 at the IP Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. They will have a short plenary session followed by break-out sessions for priority issue teams and cross-team initiatives. You can view the meeting schedule, hotel accommodations, sponsorship opportunities, and register for the meeting here

As part of the 2015 National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) competition, webinars are being offered covering the competition’s them of “The Science of Oil in the Ocean.” These webinars have been offered throughout the month of January. All educators are welcome to join the live presentations. Others can view the presentation recordings once posted. You can view the recordings or register for the remaining webinar here.

 

 

The Center for Gulf Studies has an opening for a director. They seek an individual to lead the advancement of Gulf of Mexico science from various oil spill restoration and recovery resources. The director will be responsible for program development, long-term funding and research activities, and coordination and strategic planning among the varied stakeholders of the Center.  Applicants must hold a PhD in marine science or other relevant earth science filed and have a minimum of 10 years related experience.

You can view details about the position and apply here

 

Tagged in: education jobs science

On Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Toby Baker announced the selection of two consortia, one led by the University of Houston and the other led by Texas A&M University –Corpus Christi, to establish Centers of Excellence. Centers of Excellence are being created in the five Gulf States affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to conduct research in this region as mandated by the RESTORE Act.

 

For more details on the consortia members and the type of work they will be doing, see the official press release

 

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Marine Science has an immediate opening for a POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE in the field of BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY/MARINE ZOOPLANKTON ECOLOGY. The successful candidate will work with a large, multidisciplinary team of senior and early-career scientists, graduate and undergraduate students and staff in the Consortium for Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE) to explore novel transport pathways of oil and dispersant systems in coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Click here for more information.

Tagged in: biology jobs science

In an official ruling on Thursday, January 15, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier determined 3.19 million barrels of oil were spilled in the Gulf of Mexico from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20, 2010. Under the Clean Water Act, oil spill violators face fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,300 per barrel of oil spilled. BP now faces up to $13.7 billion in fines. The third and final phase of the trial starts Tuesday and Barbier will determine how much BP will pay in pollution fines.

You can read more on this ruling in this article from The Times-Picayune.

 

 

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration - Archives

The trial to determine civic (Clean Water Act) penalties for the BP oil spill recommences on Jan. 20, 2015. As described in the Jan 7 pre-trial briefing, post trial briefs will be due by the end of March.

Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) has released a request for proposals. As described in their solicitation, “SECOORA has a maximum of $50,000 funding to conduct an observing experiment in the US Southeast coastal waters. The primary goal of this solicitation is to provide support for a short-term (or limited) observing activity in the SE to address a key gap in scientific understanding or technology or data that will improve currently supported SECOORA activities and/or user groups.”

 Proposals should be sent to Vembu Subramanian (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 5 PM ET, Monday, February 9, 2015. For more details on proposal requirements and the selection process, you can find the complete solicitation for SECOORA’s Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System: Southeast Observing Experiment here

 

Tagged in: funding monitoring

Environmental Law Institute is hosting a webinar, “Deepwater Horizon Litigation: Where Things Stand and What’s Next” on Wednesday, January 14 from 2:00-3:30PM ET. As we approach the start of the third phase of the BP oil spill trial, the panel of experts gathered for this webinar will discuss the first two phases and some of the issues that will be addressed in the third phase.

 

 

You can register for the conference here

The 45-day public comment period for the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council’s (AGCRC) Center of Excellence Research Grants Program Draft Solicitation for Proposals and Competitive Process for Selection ends on Monday, February 2, 2015. Comments may be submitted online to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, 118 N. Royal Street, Suite 603, Mobile, AL 36602.

The Gulf Research Program has announced their 2015 exploratory grants and fellowships are open for application. For exploratory grants, letters of intent, required for this proposal, are due January 20, 2015 at 8pm ET. Full proposal are due March 30, 2015 at 8pm ET. Fellowships applications are due February 6, 2015 at 8pm ET. Please see their website for more details and requirements for each competition.

The Gulf Research Program is also offering an informational webinar for applicants on January 8, 2015 at 1pm ET. You can register for this event here

 

Tagged in: funding science

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program has announced their first federal funding opportunity (FFO-2015). Funding of $2.5 million is available for approximately three to seven, 1- to 2- year projects that address three short-term priorities. A peer reviewed process will be used to evaluate and identify the strongest applications. Letters of intent are due by January 30, 2015 and full proposals due March 17, 2015.

As stated on the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program’s website, proposals need to address:

·         comprehensive inventory and assessment (i.e., strengths/weaknesses) of  ongoing ecosystem modeling efforts (conceptual and quantitative)

·         identification of currently available health/condition indicators of Gulf of Mexico ecosystem components, including humans, followed by comparative analysis of strengths and weaknesses and design/testing of additional indicators

·         assessment of monitoring and observation needs and development of recommendations to build off existing assets to establish a Gulf wide monitoring and observation network

in three topical areas

·         ecosystem and living marine resources management

·         climate change and extreme weather impacts on sustainability of restoration

·         integration of social, behavioral, and economic science into restoration and management of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

The full announcement is available for viewing here

Today, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the release of a new study report, Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the result of a 5 year field study to discover and characterize sea floor communities that live in association with hydrocarbon seeps on the hard ground below depths of 1,000 meters in the Gulf of Mexico. This study was jointly funded by BOEM and NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Through this study 107 new species were confirmed; these include crustaceans, copepods, ostracods and tanaidacea. You can read BOEM’s official press release here where you can also find a link to the study. 

Monday, December 15, 2014 is the last day to submit public comment for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program's science plan. To have your expertise heard, electronic comments can be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Written comments can be mailed to Dr. Becky Allee; NOAA OCM - Gulf Coast; Bldg. 1100, Rm 232; Stennis Space Center, MS 39529. 

 

A final version of the science plan is anticipated for release in January 2015. 

Projects submitted for the 'Bucket 2' Funding Priorities List are currently being reviewed by the RESTORE Council. All projects are available for viewing although public comments are not yet being accepted.

 

For more information and to view the projects please visit http://www.restorethegulf.gov/ourwork/council-selected-restoration/fpl-development

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund announced round 2 for $99.2M of funding for 25 new oil spill restoration projects in AL, FL, LA, MS and TX. 

The National Academy of Science Gulf Research Program will sponsor an ad hoc committee and report under the auspices of the National Research Council will inform monitoring and evaluation of restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

GOMRI announced last week the awards for RFP-IV consortia and new RFP-V opportunity for small teams research; deadline for RFP-V "letter of intent" pre-proposals is Dec. 15, 2014.

Tagged in: funding modeling science

NOAA released a draft version of the science plan for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program for public comment; electronic comments submitted via e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and written comments may be mailed to Dr. Becky Allee; NOAA OCM - Gulf Coast; Bldg. 1100, Rm 232; Stennis Space Center, MS, 39529.

 

Texas released "notice on selection process for Centers of Excellence" at https://www.restorethetexascoast.org/. As announced, pursuant to RESTORE Act and Treasury statutory and regulatory requirements, "Texas is posting a Request For Grant Applications (RFGA) on the Texas Electronic State Business Daily and on the Texas e-Grants system.  The RFGA will set forth the process by which grant applications must be submitted.  The selection and award of grants will be made in accordance with the TCEQ-established grant process under Texas Water Code 5.124 and the TCEQ grant rules, in particular the rules governing solicitations in 30 TAC Section14.7. Please contact LaTresa Stroud at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have any questions or comments regarding the proposed RFGA."

Tagged in: funding news RESTORE Act

Posted by on in Gulf Restoration - Archives

The Gulf Coast Restoration Council has been collaborating with Gulf coast state entities to host webinars open to the public in order to update participants on the status of programs and plans. You can view the webinar and a summary presentation for the Oct. 16 webinar with MS here--  http://www.restore.ms/archived-webinar/

Deepwater Horizon oil spill NRDA Trustees guide to projects and planning contained in the Final Programmatic and Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Early Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) seeking public feedback. FIO is the designated Florida Gulf Coast Entity to receive funds from the RESTORE Act for administering Florida's Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program (CERGP), section 1605 of the RESTORE Act.  As required by the Treasury's RESTORE Act Rulemaking, FIO is seeking public comments on its CERGP Rules and Policies, including competitive selection process, from October 15, 2014 to December 1, 2014.  FIO will also be conducting regional town hall meetings during this timeframe, for additional details please visit our website at: http://fio.marine.usf.edu/research/fio-cergp.

 

FIO encourages everyone to take the opportunity to participate in this important process to determine the type of research and monitoring projects FIO should fund by filling out the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/fio_cergp.  Please help circulate this email as you feel fit and if you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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