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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in restoration

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 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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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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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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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

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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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.

 

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.

 

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

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

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.

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.

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

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 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

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. 

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.”

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 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.

 

 

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

 

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.

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

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.

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.

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted 9/23/14 webinar and presentation on status of the RESTORE Act, and its process and priorities for submitting projects to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for consideration of support from the Comprehensive Plan component (30% of Trust Fund).

National Academies of Science Gulf Program announces topics for its first funding competition, exploratory research grants focused on 1) Education and Training of Workers in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry and 2) Health Professions and Linking Ecosystem Services Related to and Influenced by Oil and Gas Production to Human Health and Well-Being--http://www.nationalacademies.org/gulf/grants/index.html

UPDATE-- Dec. 18 is application deadline for these grants-- more here.

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National Academies of Science's The Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision establishes the Program’s foundation and introduces its mission, goals, and objectives-- http://www.nas.edu/gulf/vision/index.htm

Submit proposals to Texas portal for restoration projects that may be funded by NRDA, RESTORE ACT, and Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWF)-- .

http://restorethetexascoast.org/submit-a-project/

Restore Act Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is seeking subject matter experts to serve as panelists to review proposals submitted to the Council via Council members. Download the PDF form to apply. Send it and your CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 10, 2014.

Texas restoration portal now up at http://restorethetexascoast.org/; "website provides an opportunity for interested parties to suggest projects for consideration for funding made available to Texas as a result of the DWH Oil Spill."

Tagged in: funding restoration

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Conference for Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration in New Orleans, Jul 28-Aug 1, 2014; registration at http://www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/CEER2014/site.html

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NRDA DWH oil spill damage assessment data at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/oil-spill/gulf-spill-data/

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New book edited by former Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council director, Dr. S. Bortone, entitled Interrelationships between Corals and Fisheries, published by CRC Press. Available at http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466588318. Volume includes chapter 9 by GOMURC director, AN Shepard, "Restoring deepwater coral ecosystems and fisheries after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill."

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Final NRDA Phase III Early Restoration plan is now available following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Largest phase (>60% of $1B) of early restoration, the Plan proposes 44 early restoration projects, environmental analyses for each of them, and proposed strategic approach to early restoration and the environmental analysis for that approach-- http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/early-restoration/phase-iii/?utm_source=final+phase+III+announcement&utm_campaign=early+restoration+phase+III&utm_medium=email

Tagged in: funding news restoration

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NRDA Phase III Early Restoration Program plan still in review-- track at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/early-restoration/phase-iii/

Tagged in: funding news restoration

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Bookmark ELI's new interactive timeline as great way to track restoration settlements and litigation-- http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/timeline/

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GOMRI Oil spill and Ecosystem Science Conference for 2015 deadline for session proposals is JUNE 15-- http://www.cvent.com/events/2015-oil-spill-and-ecosystem-science-conference/custom-17-f8e7997d3673455e8ae8ebd03a854af1.aspx?RefID=01&cpc=JXNHXJ3TNFX

Environmental Law Institute is maintaining an on-line dbase for funded Gulf restoration projects-- http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/restoration-projects-database/

NOAA Central Library will no longer update its DWH Spill Bibliography as of May 13, 2014-- http://www.lib.noaa.gov/researchtools/subjectguides/dwh.html.

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Judge sets date in January 2015 for final phase (setting penalties) for BP oil spill civil trial-- http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2014/04/timeline_released_for_final_pe.html.

NWF report, “Four Years Into the Gulf Oil Disaster: Still Waiting for Restoration”--  http://www.nwf.org/fouryearslater.  Report blog at http://blog.nwf.org/2014/04/four-years-after-the-bp-spill-wildlife-are-still-struggling/

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NFWF announcement for initial round of restoration projects for $100M-- http://www.nfwf.org/whoweare/mediacenter/pr/Pages/NFWF-Announces-More-Than-$100-Million-.aspx

Tagged in: funding news restoration

NOAA portal for submitting Gulf restoration project ideas is at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/give-us-your-ideas/suggest-a-restoration-project/. To view ideas submitted to this portal see http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/give-us-your-ideas/view-submitted-projects/.

Portals for DWH oil spill restoration project submissions: AL at http://www.restorealabama.org; FL at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/projects_restore_act.htm; LA at http://coastal.la.gov/our-work/restoration-planning; MS portal at http://www.msrestoreteam.com/ppp/ppp.php; TX not open.

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National Academy of Sciences Gulf Program events page at http://nationalacademies.org/gulf/events/index.html

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GOMRI Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, January 2013, report and products-- http://2013.gulfofmexicoconference.org

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MS launches  its RESTORE Act web site-- http://www.restore.ms

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US Fish and Wildlife Service vision for Gulf restoration available at http://www.fws.gov/gulfrestoration/pdf/VisionDocument.pdf

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NRC Ocean Studies Board finished its report, An Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico now available at http://dels.nas.edu/Report/report/18387

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Governor Scott assigns Gulf Consortium (http://www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/gulf-consortium) with task of developing State Expenditure Plan for RESTORE Act section 1603, Spill Impact Component ("pot 3") 30% that must be approved by Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Council and mesh with their Council's Comprehensive Restoration Plan funding.

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Deepwater Horizon oil spill 3-year progress update led by federal and state panels and Chaired by Senators Nelson and Wicker; June 6 hearing to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation archived podcast at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=02200024-8f04-429f-bd1f-038e8597a0d9&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a. NOTE-- Meeting begins at 40 mins into podcast (move slider at bottom to this start point).

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NOAA Gulf DWH oil spill site at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov includes calendar of events related to NRDA activities

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NFWF established Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund with funds from BP and Transocean settlement funds-- news story at http://www.wboy.com/story/22236848/nfwf-launches-gulf-environmental-benefit-fund-to-restore-gulf-coast-natural-resources; NFWF fund site at http://www.nfwf.org/Pages/gulf/Gulf%20Environmental%20Benefit%20Fund.aspx

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Phase III NRDA Early Restoration Program projects approved: LA $340M for barrier island restoration projects and fisheries research centers-- http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/04/bps_340_million_will_restore_4.html; MS  $82 million  for four projects to "address loss of use by providing residents and visitors with new recreational options, better access to existing natural resources and a greater opportunity to enjoy them"-- http://msbusiness.com/blog/2013/05/02/governor-unveils-oil-spill-settlement-funded-projects/; AL $94 million for projects "to enhance Gulf State Park at Gulf Shores, to restore sand dunes in the undeveloped beachfront and to construct and enhance trails in the park" -- http://www.wdef.com/news/state/story/Agreement-reached-on-Ala-oil-spill-restoration/bUNqUVovFk668JmnnRwZTA.cspx?rss=3472; FL $58 million for 12 projects in 8 FL counties-- http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Gov-Scott-Announces-58-Million-in-Early-Restoration-Projects-for-Fla-Communities-205780301.html; TX $18M to support 5 projects -- http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/BP-to-pay-18M-for-Texas-Gulf-restoration-work-4484295.php.

Tagged in: funding news restoration

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National Academy of Sciences received $500M for Gulf restoration from BP and Transocean plea agreements-- new web site describes objectives and preliminary plans at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=02202013b

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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announced the development of the GoMRI Request for Proposals for 2015-2017 GoMRI Research Consortia-- http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/2013/save-the-date-gomri-rfp-for-2015-2017-research-consortia/.

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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announced the development of the GoMRI Request for Proposals for 2015-2017 GoMRI Research Consortia-- http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/2013/save-the-date-gomri-rfp-for-2015-2017-research-consortia/

USF publication recommending ocean observing system required to support Gulf ecosystem restoration and sustainability at http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/26-1_murawski.pdf

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BP civil trial daily transcripts are at http://www.mdl2179trialdocs.com/.  Settlement docs on LA district court web site-- http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/OilSpill/OilSpill.htm.

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Follow BP civil trial on Twitter at #BPTrial.

LA Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's Annual Plan for 2014 is open until Mar 23, 2013 for public comment-- http://www.lacpra.org/assets/docs/draftFY2014AnnualPlanLow.pdf

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As the Gulf Coast Restoration Council continues with its public hearings in Gulf States this month to inform the comprehensive restoration plan, it is important for people to be heard through their written and public comments; the Environmental Law Institute has useful guidelines for these comments at http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/participation/.

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State and local government claims against BP reported this week with BP financial report total $34B-- http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/05/us-bp-spill-claims-idUSBRE91419T20130205. Federal trial still set for Feb 25, 2013, although parties still negotiating--  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50698646/ns/business-oil_and_energy/.

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Judge signs off on $4B BP plea agreement-- http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/January/13-ag-123.html. Copy of agreement is at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/vns/docs/2012/11/2012-11-15-BP-Guilty-Plea-Agreement.pdf

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Governor of MS releases GoCoast 2020 plan-- http://www.gocoast2020.com/wp-content/uploads/finalreport.pdf. Work of GoCoast Commission assigned by Governor Bryant to plan for state's RESTORE Act programs.

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DoJ press release (and links to related documents) regarding settlement with Transocean at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/January/13-ag-004.html. Environmental Law Inst. summary of Transocean DWH Oil Spill settlement is at http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/files/Transocean-Settlement.pdf

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Judge Barbier approves $7.8B settlement for BP class action suit-- http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/12/26/275231.htm

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BP settles criminal fines-- http://www.abc6.com/story/20107832/bp-to-pay-45-billion-in-oil-spill-settlement

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NOAA portal for access to DWH oil spill data-- http://noaa.ntis.gov/site/home.php

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (RFP-II program) awards 19 research projects $20 million over three years for studies on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems-- http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/2012/bp-sponsored-gulf-of-mexico-research-initiative-awards-new-grants/.

Current Biology editor considers where Gulf ecosystem and policies are 2 years after DWH oil spill-- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982212005222

Shell Marine Habitat Program (SMHP) partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) supports conservation and restoration activities that result in measurable benefits to key species and their habitats within coastal ecosystems-- http://www.nfwf.org/shell/Pages/home.aspx#.U6w28kBBnoE

Oil Spill Commission action committee assesses progress towards recommendations made in National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Off-Shore Drilling's 2011 report (http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/)-- http://oscaction.org/wp-content/uploads/OSCA-Assessment-report.pdf.

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