Partnership Update

January 5, 2012

Southeast Region Conference Announced

The Land Trust Alliance's 2012 Southeast Regional Land Conservation Conference has been announced for March 14 - 16, 2012. This terrific regional gathering will take place at the beautiful Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The conference website will be live by mid-January and will feature the conference agenda, registration fees and instructions for registering. Save the dates on your 2012 calendars now.


RESTORE Act stalled in Senate

The RESTORE Act will ensure that 80% of Clean Water Act fines levied for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will be spent on restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico. Without this legislation, the fines will go into the federal treasury and be used for other purposes. This bill is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate. Please continue to contact your congressional delegation to express your support for S.B. 1400. We are also encouraged to write letters to the editor. View a sample letter.


Senior Staff for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force Re-locate to Gulf Region

John Hankinson, Chris Pease, and other senior staff have moved from D.C. to Stennis Space Center in Southeast Mississippi. Conservationists believe that the move to permanent offices in the Gulf region is a strong signal that the Task Force is committed to implementing the Strategy.  Stennis is also home to NOAA, EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program office, and the Northern Gulf Institute.


First Round of Early Restoration Projects Announced

The Natural Resources Damages Assessment (NRDA) Trustees announced the first round of restoration projects on December 14, 2011.  Public comments are encouraged until February 14, 2012. Public meetings are also being scheduled across the region. View information about public meetings in your area or leave a comment.

The Partnership staff will review the plan and develop talking points that Partners may use. The proposed projects are:

  • Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation - Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana; approximately 104 acres of marsh creation; benefitting brackish marsh in the Barataria Hydrologic Basin; estimated cost: $13,200,000.
  • Louisiana Oyster Cultch Project - St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Lafourche, Jefferson, and Terrebonne Parishes, Louisiana; approximately 850 acres of cultch placement on public oyster seed grounds; construction of improvements to an existing oyster hatchery; benefitting oysters in coastal Louisiana; estimated cost: $14,874,300.
  • Mississippi Oyster Cultch Restoration - Hancock and Harrison Counties, Mississippi; 1,430 acres of cultch restoration; benefitting oysters in Mississippi Sound; estimated cost: $11,000,000.
  • Mississippi Artificial Reef Habitat. Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties, Mississippi; 100 acres of nearshore artificial reef; benefitting nearshore habitat; estimated cost: $2,600,000.
  • Marsh Island (Portersville Bay) Marsh Creation - Mobile County, Alabama; protecting 24 existing acres of salt marsh; creating 50 acres of salt marsh; 5,000 linear feet of tidal creeks; benefitting coastal salt marsh in Alabama; estimated cost: $9,400,000.
  • Alabama Dune Cooperative Restoration Project - Baldwin County, Alabama; 55 acres of primary dune habitat; benefitting coastal dune and beach mouse habitat in Alabama; estimated cost: $1,145,976.
  • Florida Boat Ramp Enhancement and Construction - Escambia County, Florida; four boat ramp facilities; benefitting human use in Escambia County, Florida; estimated cost: $4,406,309.
  • Florida (Pensacola Beach) Dune Restoration - Escambia County, Florida; 20 acres of coastal dune habitat; benefitting coastal dune habitat in Escambia County, Florida; estimated cost: $585,898.


Mississippi River Basin Funding Announced

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of financial assistance funds in fiscal year (FY) 2012 for up to $11.74 million in the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and up to $25 million in the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) through MRBI. These funding levels are available for new MRBI proposals. View more information. All
proposals must be received on or before March 19, 2012.

Contact

Julia Weaver
Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation
Ocean Springs, MS
228-219-2279
jweaver@lta.org

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