Partnership Update

April 17, 2014

Tom Kelsch, Senior Vice President of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to Address PGCLC Annual Meeting

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held at The Marriott Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama on Monday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13 in conjunction with the Gulf States Assembly sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance Southeast Programs Office. The meeting is open to anyone interested in conservation issues in the Gulf region. On the agenda:

  • Unveiling of the PGCLC Conservation Vision which represents the shared land conservation priorities of the land trust community in the Gulf region;
  • Conversations with Tom Kelsch, Director of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund and Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council;
  • Workshops designed to help conservation organizations find funding from federal, state, corporate, and community sources.

View registration and accommodation information »

Download the agenda »

The registration fee for both days is $125/person (includes Monday reception and dinner, Tuesday lunch). The fee for Tuesday only is $100/person (includes Tuesday and lunch). Register early! After May 1, registration will increase to $135/person.

The Gulf Coast Land Conservation Project Assistance Fund is Accepting Applications

PGCLC member organizations are encouraged to apply for matching funds through the Project Assistance Fund to prepare high quality land acquisition projects for potential funding through Gulf restoration funds such as NFWF, NRDA, RESTORE Act and NAWCA. The Fund is being administered by the Galveston Bay Foundation through a generous grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation. For more information, contact Matthew Singer by email or call (281) 332-3381 ext. 206.

Louisiana Officials Want Action on Treasury Regulations for RESTORE Act Funds

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge and Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on April 15, 2014, encouraging him to speed up the process of allocating RESTORE Act Funds. The Treasury Department has not completed the regulations needed to release funds through the RESTORE Act so the roughly $320 million sitting in the fund from Transocean's settlement agreement cannot be put to use.
"Treasury is effectively denying relief by failing to complete these regulations," they wrote. See more information »

State of Mississippi Awarded $3.6 Million Grant for Restoration Plan

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced on April 8, 2014 that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will provide a $3.6 million grant to fund an integrated, coastal wide, restoration plan.  The project award constitutes approximately one percent of the overall NFWF dollars which will be made available under the consent decree.  Mississippi is the only Gulf state to receive dedicated planning money from NFWF to date. See more information »

U.S. Geological Survey Report: Mississippi River Basin Still in Decline

According to a new study by the USGS, water quality has declined in the massive Mississippi River Basin in recent years due to the combined effects of agricultural and urban infrastructure, despite decades of conservation efforts. That's a concern both for those who rely on the river system and for those downstream on the Gulf of Mexico, where a huge "dead zone" hurts fishing and recreational opportunities.

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) sampled the main stem and four tributaries of the Mississippi River and found that levels of nitrate increased at more than half the sites from 1980 to 2010. Overall, nitrate levels increased by 14 percent during that period, the USGS reported in a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill Friday.  The new findings are a warning about water quality health nationwide, and raise a troubling issue: even when policymakers and environmental advocates try to clean up the waterways, their efforts are not always successful.  Officials, environmentalists, and scientists continue to weigh the merits of increased regulation and voluntary conservation.

See more information »

Clean Water Tops List of Priorities in Alabama Community Conversations

State officials joined with community groups and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to host community conversations in four (4) coastal communities to discuss oil spill restoration in March, 2014.  Approximately 130 people participated and shared their priorities for restoration projects.  The top values to promote good restoration were found to be:

  1. Interconnectedness - recognizing the inherent connection between communities, natural resources and the economy;
  2. Local solutions - utilizing local expertise and knowledge to identify and address restoration challenges;
  3. Resiliency – responding to, restoring and protecting land from future disasters; and
  4. Legacy - preserving natural resources for future generations.

The vast majority of comments addressed or referenced the importance of clean water. For more information, contact Jill Mastrototaro, National Wildlife Federation/Gulf of Mexico Restoration Campaign by email.

Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration Scheduled for July 28 - August 1 in New Orleans, LA

CEER is an interdisciplinary conference designed for scientists, engineers, policy makers, restoration planners, partners, NGO’s and stakeholders involved in ecological and ecosystem restoration.  Participants will address policy, planning, and science as well as methods, tools, and processes for successful restoration. See more information »

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Priority Issue Teams to Meet May 19 – 21 in Mobile, AL

The 2014 GOMA Priority Issue Team meetings will take place May 19-21 in historic downtown Mobile, Alabama at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.  These meetings will be separate from the plenary portion of the All Hands meeting which is being incorporated in the 2014 Gulf Summit in Houston, TX.

The Priority Issue teams are:

  • Coastal Community Resilience
  • Ecosystem Integration and Assessment
  • Environmental Education
  • Habitat Conservation and Restoration
  • Nutrient Impact Reduction to Coastal Ecosystems
  • Water Quality for Healthy Beaches and Seafood

See more information about registration, accommodation and agendas »

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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Preserving Land and a Legacy in Alabama

Preserving Land and a Legacy in Alabama

AL - The Harvard-educated lawyer deeply cared for his Alabama hometown – one of steel and historic social change. He played a major role in the integration of Birmingham’s steel mills and was lauded for his commitment to civil rights with honors during his lifetime and after his passing. But during and after fighting the good fight, his heart and mind often found solace in the lovely mountains and rivers of North Alabama near Mentone.

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