Partnership Update

April 25, 2013

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions Program Announces Donation to the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation

The Land Trust Alliance received notice on Monday, April 22 that a grant of $25,000 has been approved by NFWF/Wells Fargo to support the work of the Partnership. These funds will be used to increase the pace, quality, and permanence of land and water conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region. More information >>

April 20 Marks 3rd Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On the 3rd anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, conservation groups and community leaders expressed concern that damage from the oil spill continues to be seen throughout the environment: sea turtle populations, cetaceans, and shorelines, especially in Louisiana. BP officials issued a statement predicting that the company will not be found grossly negligent in the courts.  Mark Schleifstein, environment reporter for the Times-Picayune provides an overview of perspectives in this article >>

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Prepares Move Forward on Oil Spill Restoration Work

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced on Monday, April 22 that they had appointed four new members to its board of directors and two new regional staff directors to support expanded efforts to restore and improve Gulf Coast ecosystems in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The regional staff directors are Tanner Johnson (for FL/AL/MS) and Mike Sharp (for LA/TX).

NFWF, which has two decades of experience working on wildlife and marine conservation issues along the Gulf Coast, was named by a federal court to administer more than $2.5 billion in settlement funds from BP and Transocean for projects in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Texas. More information >>

Florida Oil Spill Restoration Policy Gets Complicated

Florida Senate Bill 1024 deals with a wide range of employment and economic development issues. It also creates Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. as a nonprofit corporation to handle oil spill settlement money. The author of this section stated that his intent is to make sure that money from the State of Florida’s lawsuit against BP is not squandered by the state legislature. However, county leaders from the Florida Panhandle saw the measure as a power grab that could impact the way that dollars are spent from the RESTORE Act. State leaders are trying to clarify the language to meet objections from the most effected counties. More information >>

Florida Legislators Move to Weaken Florida Forever Program

Florida's conservation land-buying program was the largest such program in the nation from 1990 through 2008, when it received $300 million a year. This year Governor Rick Scott has asked for $25 million in funding for the program, with an additional $50 million if the funds can be generated by selling state land to private interests. According to reporters with The Florida Current, lawmakers have introduced SB 584 and HB 901 which would require state agencies, cities and counties to sell an equal amount of conservation land before they could buy more land.  HB 33 and SB 466 would allow landowners to trade conservation easements on their property for the acquisition of neighboring state lands.

The bills face opposition from environmental groups. They are supporting a proposed state constitution amendment that would provide an estimated $500 million a year towards land acquisition and improvement. More information >>

BP Spill Trial Reaches End of First Phase

According to AP Reporter Michael Kunzelman, testimony concluded on Wednesday, April 17 in the first phase of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill trial.  Judge Barbier did not rule in the case but gave the parties more than  two months to submit written briefs outlining their conclusions about the case.

"There's a huge amount of evidence for the court and parties to consider," Barbier said.  For more information, read the Associated Press story >>

Gulf Future Groups Release “Guidance for Sustainable Restoration”

This document was drafted by fifty-nine environmental and social justice organizations from across the Gulf at the 2013 Gulf Gathering in March.  The document calls for public participation and transparency in oil spill restoration and reiterates the message that restoring the environment restores the economy. More information >>

EPA Offers Training Opportunities

A webcast on Using Social Indicators in Watershed Management Projects will be offered on May 1, 2013 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern.  Social indicators provide information about the social context, awareness, attitudes, capacities, constraints, and behaviors in a watershed or project area. Register online for this Watershed Academy Webcast. (the webcast presentation will be posted in advance online). Finally, webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance.

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
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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