Partnership Update

December 6, 2012

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Announces Public Meeting

The Council will hold its first public meeting on Dec. 11, 2012 in Mobile, AL at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel. The Council was established by the RESTORE Act, and will develop and oversee implementation of a comprehensive plan to help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Register for the Council meeting.

Alabama Voters Approve 20 More Years of Forever Wild with 75% Approval

On Election Day, outdoor enthusiasts in Alabama overwhelmingly supported renewal of the state effort to buy up green spaces for wildlife preserves, hiking trails and public parks. The program had been under fire by conservative lawmakers, but a coalition of hunters, anglers, cyclists and others raised $750,000 to run a public campaign in support of Forever Wild.

According to the Birmingham News, the program runs on 10 percent of the interest from the $2.2 billion Alabama Trust Fund. That account is supported by royalties and payments from offshore drilling. The interest from investing oil money has helped pay for 227,000 acres of public land. More >>

Texas Still Waiting for $100M in Restoration Funds from BP Oil Spill

According to the Texas Tribune, Texas has not reached agreement with BP and the other Trustees on any projects for early restoration.  Projects are underway in the other Gulf states.

The process of allocating dollars has been “much more complicated than we first anticipated,” said Don Pitts, a state coordinator with Texas Parks and Wildlife, which helps screen potential projects.

Texas suffered much less direct damage than other Gulf states from the spill, although indirectly the oil affected birds and turtles that nest on Texas beaches. Environmentalists believe that’s why the state may be slower to receive its $100 million through NRDA: That process requires showing a link between damages and restoration funds.

“That’s frankly easier for some of the other states to do because they had more damage,” said Bob Stokes, president of the Galveston Bay Foundation. More >>

Nonprofits Step Up Pressure to Keep Charitable Deduction Intact

Philanthropy Today reports that nonprofits are stepping up the pressure on Congress and President Obama to protect the charitable deduction during negotiations over the fiscal cliff. More than 225 nonprofit leaders gathered on Capitol Hill this week to explain the potential harm to nonprofit organizations.

A recent poll conducted by United Way Worldwide shows widespread public support for protecting the charitable deduction. More >>

NOAA Announces Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Funding Opportunity

NOAA is soliciting applications for restoration projects that use a habitat-based approach to foster species recovery and increase fish production. The funding opportunity will focus on projects that will aid in recovering listed species and rebuilding sustainable fish populations or their prey. The deadline for application is February 19, 2013. More >>

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program Announces Workshop

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program is hosting a one day workshop on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Alabama. This is an excellent opportunity to gain information about this competitive grants program, meet potential partners in your area, exchange project ideas, and learn the application procedure and guidelines. Please RSVP to Nicole Adimey at nicole_adimey@fws.gov by January 28, 2013.

Wetland and Stream Mitigation: A Handbook for Land Trusts

When planned development activities are determined to result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and streams, the entity responsible for causing the damage is required to restore, create, enhance, or preserve other land to offset those losses. These ‘compensatory mitigation projects’ must be provided long-term protection. This new handbook provides the land trust community with a framework for rigorously evaluating the liabilities associated with mitigation projects. Produced by the Environmental Law Institute in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance and with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wetland and Stream Mitigation: A Handbook for Land Trusts (2012), provides land trust professionals with the tools they need to determine whether and to what degree they should get involved in restoration and protection projects that are linked to the federal (and in some cases state) wetland and stream compensatory mitigation program. More >>

Webinar Offered by Forest Service: Open Space Conservation Programs for Private Landowners from the Farm Bill and Other Sources

Join the conversation on Wednesday, December 12, 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time and learn more about programs that allow private landowners to protect working forests and conserve open space administered by the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency. View registration information.

The National Forest Foundation Invites Proposals for Matching Awards Program

The Foundation’s Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides support to nonprofit organizations and Native American tribes throughout the U.S. to engage in on-the-ground conservation and citizen-based monitoring projects benefiting National Forests and Grasslands.  Funded projects must address at least one of the following program areas of emphasis: Wildlife Habitat Improvement, Recreation, Watershed Health and Restoration, or Community-Based Forestry.  All grants require at least a one-to-one cash match through non-federal donations. Deadline: January 9, 2013. More >>

EPA Announces Environmental Justice Small Grants

Nonprofits are eligible to apply for the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program that provides funding for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community.  The EJSG Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.  Grant awards are approximately $30,000 and the deadline for applying is January 7, 2013. More >>

Events

The Texas Land Conservation Conference
February 27 – 28, 2013
Austin, TX
More >>

The 2013 National Land Conservation Rally
September 17 – 19, 2013
New Orleans, LA
The 4th Annual Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with this event.

Contact

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

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
Broad River Headwaters Protected Forever

Broad River Headwaters Protected Forever

NC - The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently protected 235 acres on Dill Knob in eastern Buncombe County, safeguarding the headwater streams of the Broad River Watershed. Elizabeth and Terry Simmonds signed a conservation agreement with SAHC, protecting their property in the Swannanoa Mountains, just south of Black Mountain.

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