Partnership Update

December 20, 2013

Comment Period and Public Meetings Set for NRDA Early Restoration Projects Draft Plan. Nongovernmental Organizations Ask for 30 Day Extension

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees released a draft plan on December 6, 2013 that proposes $627 million in early restoration projects across the Gulf States. The PGCLC reviewed and commented on the projects during the summer of 2013. The Trustees are now asking for public input on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).  The public review and comment period is open until February 4, 2014. Ocean Conservancy, the Gulf Restoration Network and other organizations have made a formal request to the Trustees to extend the comment period for 30 days to allow community members to fully review the PEIS documents which are very long and technical. Download an electronic copy of the PEIS »

According to the Trustee statement, some projects aim to restore barrier islands, dunes, marshes, shorelines, and oyster beds. Others, such as boat ramps and park enhancements, seek to address the lost recreational use of natural resources. Of the $627 million, ecological projects comprise about $397 million, which is approximately 64 percent of the total. Lost recreational use projects make up the remaining $230 million.

Public meetings are being held in communities across the Gulf region. More information »

Researchers Report Poor Health Status for Dolphins in Area Affected by Spill

According to a study conducted by government, academic and non-governmental researchers, more than half of the bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay were found to have serious health problems when evaluated in 2011. Seventeen percent of the marine mammals were in such poor condition that they were not expected to survive. More information »

Black Bear Habitat Protected by the Atlantic Coast Conservancy/Pelican Coast Conservancy

The Atlantic Coast Conservancy/Pelican Coast Conservancy recently closed on their first conservation easement in Mobile County, Alabama.  The parcel contains high quality wetlands and prime habitat for one of the last populations of the Florida Black Bear in Alabama.

PGCLC participated in a Workshop on Forests as a Pathway to Gulf Health and Prosperity

PGCLC partners attended the December 18 workshop hosted in New Orleans by the U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities and the American Forests Foundation to discuss forests and Gulf restoration.  The Forests as a Pathway to Gulf Health and Prosperity workshop was part of an effort to refine priority forest project ideas related to Gulf restoration using the draft strategy developed by Gulf state foresters and partners. Priority projects include:

  • Improve forest markets in the Gulf to enhance restoration;
  • Enhance water resources through forest management and restoration;
  • Increase engagement with private forestland owners in forest management and water quality initiatives;
  • Increase prescribed burns;
  • Address invasive species;
  • Expand urban forest programs in the Gulf to advance other initiatives; and
  • Restore Longleaf and native forests in the Gulf ecosystem.

A summary of the recommendations and next steps will be available in early 2014. For more information, contact Peter Stangel via email.

The following PGCLC Partners were in attendance: Ray Herndon, the Conservation Fund; Stacey Shankle, Trust for Public Land; Bob Bendick, The Nature Conservancy; Jerry Holden, Ducks Unlimited; Robert Smith, Wildlife Mississippi; and Liz Barber, PGCLC Co-Coordinator.

The Nature Conservancy’s Gulf of Mexico Program Announces Job Opportunity

TNC’s Gulf of Mexico Program is hiring an Associate Director of Marketing.  Location is flexible within the Gulf of Mexico region. The Associate Marketing Director bears primary responsibility for developing communications and marketing tools to meet Gulf conservation goals – especially as related to securing funding and public support for large-scale environmental restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.  The deadline for application is Wednesday, January 15. More information »

Invasive Species Prevention Course Offered by Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

A training course will be offered January 27 and 28 for natural resource managers. Participants will be able to:

  • Use five integrated steps to identify potential pathways for invasive species and control measures;
  • Draft plans with prescribed ranges, limits or criteria and corrective actions; and
  • Create a reference source documenting best management practices and procedures.

A Train the Trainer course will also be provided on January 29 – 30.  Pre-registration for each course if required. For more information, contact Rosalyn Kilcollins at 850-670-7708 or via email.

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program Grant Deadline Set for February 5, 2014

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program will fund projects that include:

  • On-the-ground wetland, riparian, in-stream and/or coastal habitat restoration;
  • Meaningful education and training activities, either through community outreach, participation and/or integration with K-12 environmental curriculum;
  • Measurable ecological, educational and community benefits; and
  • Partnerships: Five Star projects should engage a diverse group of community partners to achieve ecological and educational outcomes.

The application deadline is Wednesday, February 5, 2014. More information »

Coastal Restoration Project Design and Evaluation Workshop Offered

During this interactive, one and a half day workshop, participants will learn how to:

  • Explain how restoration project design and evaluation support agency and organization missions, strategic plans, and established program niches;
  • Identify and communicate measurable project outcomes;
  • Demonstrate how logic models can be applied to restoration project design and evaluation;
  • Identify meaningful performance indicators as a part of project evaluation;
  • Assess types and levels of evaluation that can be applied to restoration projects.

The training will be offered in Florida and Alabama in January.  Registration is now open! More information »

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Hosts 2014 Conference

The 2014 GOMRI conference will be held January 26 - 29 in Mobile, Alabama. The following topics will be addressed:

  • Ecosystem assessment, vulnerability, and resilience: integrated cause and effect studies and trends across disciplines
  • Ongoing science, technology, monitoring, and mitigation strategies with respect to the DWH Oil spill response: What is needed to prepare for, support, and manage future hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Valuing ecosystem services and quantifying effects of oil spills on ecosystem services through environmental, public health, and socioeconomic science
  • Promoting scientific literacy, perception, and expectations about oil spill research among stakeholders.

More information »

Contact

Julia Weaver
Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation
Ocean Springs, MS
Email | (228) 219-2279

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is organized under the auspices of the Land Trust Alliance, which provides administrative and fiscal support.

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Success Story
Family and Fund Conserve 132-Acre Buffalo Ridge Farm

Family and Fund Conserve 132-Acre Buffalo Ridge Farm

NC- A family’s love of farming and funding from the Triangle Land Conservancy’s Our Water, Our Land campaign and Johnston County collaboratively conserved the Moore’s 132-acre family farm — Buffalo Ridge Farm.

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