Partnership Update

August 16, 2013

Register Now for the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation (PGCLC) Annual Meeting - Space is Limited

The PGCLC Annual Meeting will be held in New Orleans, LA on Monday, September 16 from 10:00am to 5:00pm at the Canal Street Sheraton Hotel. Registration is $20 and includes lunch. Online registration ends on September 6, 2013. View registration and accommodation information »

More than 30 land conservation professionals, board members, and representatives of funding agencies have registered. Speakers include:

  • Tanner Johnson: Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
  • Chris Pease: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Cheryl Brodnax: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Bethany Kraft: Ocean Conservancy
  • Michael Whitfield: Heart of the Rockies Land Trust Coalition
  • Ole Amundsen: The Conservation Fund
  • Joe Fargione, Ph. D.: The Nature Conservancy

Many thanks to the following organizations for their contributions to the Annual Meeting:

  • Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain for administrative support
  • Pelican Coast Conservancy for hosting the Evening Social at the Palace Café
  • Land Trust for Louisiana for underwriting lunch and refreshments
  • The Conservation Fund and the Nature Conservancy for providing expertise during the Conservation Vision Charrette
  • The Knobloch Family Foundation for financial support of the Conservation Vision process

Register for Rally: the National Land Conservation Conference

Rally will be held in New Orleans, LA from September 17 – 19. Early Bird Registration has closed, and the deadline for general registration is August 26, 2013. We are pleased to announce that 10 PGCLC Land Trusts have received scholarships to attend Rally. Highlights of the meeting include a presentation by author Barry Lopez, and in-depth training on conservation easements, advocacy, and connecting with the local community. Visit the Rally webpage » View the Rally Schedule At a Glance »

PGCLC Moves Forward on Conservation Vision Project

More than 30 land conservation professionals participated in a free webinar on Strategic Conservation Planning on Wednesday, August 14.  Participants reviewed several land conservation planning tools that can be used by land trusts regardless of their size and level of expertise.  Materials from the webinar will be posted on the PGCLC webpage. The Conservation Vision process will continue at the PGCLC Annual Meeting on September 16.

The PGCLC Welcomes the Alabama Coastal Heritage Trust (ACHT) as its 31st Member Organization

The mission of the ACHT is to acquire land and protect the habitat of the endangered Alabama beach mouse and to protect the habitat of other threatened species that share its habitat on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Welcome ACHT!

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) to Vote on Initial Comprehensive Plan. Public is Invited to Attend

The Council will meet on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at 1:00pm CDT to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Plan). The public is invited to attend the meeting which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Chair of the Council, will preside over the meeting, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be in attendance as a Council member and host of the meeting. Council representatives from the other Gulf States and participating federal agencies will be in attendance.  Meeting attendees should preregister online »

Meeting materials will be available beginning August 21, 2013 on the Council’s website.  In addition to voting on the Plan, the Council will hear from some of its key restoration partners including representatives from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Trustees, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) RESTORE Science Program about their Gulf restoration efforts.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed

The Vision document identifies eight science-based conservation strategies in 16 conservation focal areas that could take advantage of voluntary, existing programs to implement non-regulatory conservation actions across the Gulf and its watershed. While most of those focal areas are concentrated along the Gulf Coast, three of them are in the upper portion of the watershed. The document is meant to serve as a tool for working with stakeholders across the region. The conservation strategies are to:

  1. Use sound science;
  2. Restore resources impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
  3. Create a network of public and private conservation lands;
  4. Restore wetland and aquatic ecosystems;
  5. Conserve prairies and forests;
  6. Protect and restore coastal strand, barrier island and estuarine island habitats;
  7. Conserve working lands; and
  8. Manage lands and waters for sustainable populations of fish and wildlife.

Read the Vision Document »

The United States Forest Service Seeks Nominations for the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council)

The Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and related natural resources. The purpose of the Council is to: 1) develop a national urban and community forestry action plan; 2) evaluate the implementation of the plan; and 3) develop criteria and annually make recommendations on the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-share Grant Program.  One or two members should represent a national non-profit forestry and /or conservation citizen organization. Your nomination(s) must be “received” (not just postmarked) by August 31, 2013. View more information »

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Nest Numbers Drop.  Scientists search for Answers

Scientists are puzzled over a decline this year in the number of nests along the Texas coast for endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles.  Federal officials have counted 153 of the turtle nests in Texas, which is the largest U.S. nesting ground for the animals outside Mexico. A similar drop also has been detected in Mexico.  Last year, 209 nests were tallied in Texas. Read the article »

Commerce Department Declares Federal Disaster for Florida Oysters

According to the Associated Press, Commerce officials agreed with the State of Florida that the oyster fishery in Florida deserved a disaster declaration. This decision clears the way for federal aid. The state's oyster industry collapsed last year after a drought reduced freshwater flow into Apalachicola Bay. State officials have also said Georgia's increased consumption of fresh water has had an adverse impact.

Sequester Could Delay Oil Spill Restoration Funds

The sequester, which began in March with across-the-board spending reductions, is holding back 5 percent of the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.  The amount held back increases to 7.2 percent beginning Oct. 1 for the 2014 fiscal year.

The federal government is estimating setting aside $23 million in the fund for the upcoming fiscal year. But the concern is that if the sequester continues, well more than $1 billion could be halted from going to the affected Gulf Coast states once all of the BP civil penalties are determined.

The next phase of the BP oil leak trial begins on Sept. 30, and the outcome could determine how much the Gulf states get.  The government is not taking the dollars out of the fund, but instead keeping a percentage from being spent for now.

Garret Graves, chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, argued that the federal government should do more to ensure the trust fund is excluded from the sequester cuts. View more information »

The Coordinator will build the scope and effectiveness of the multi-NGO coalition developed in response to the BP drilling disaster.  The position will be located in New Orleans, LA.  For more information, contact Cyn Sartou via email.

Longleaf Academy Offers Course on Longleaf Understory

This course will provide continuing education about the diverse longleaf understory, with an emphasis on native warm season grasses, composites and legumes, for graduates of the Longleaf 101 course.  This educational opportunity will be offered October 8 – 10 at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center in Alabama. To register for this course, please contact the Longleaf Alliance office via email or call 334-427-1029. For additional information on this course, please contact Carol Denhof via email or call 678-595-6405.

Funding Opportunities

Environmental Education Mini-Grant Program

With funding from EPA Region 4, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Environmental Education will administer up to 18 outdoor environmental education mini-grants of up to $5,000 each. The grants are for for eligible entities in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi. All funded projects must follow a shared set of guiding principles which include outdoor environmental education on public conservation lands, multiple field experiences for 75 students, a watershed-based theme, integrated teacher training, participation in a service learning project, and a standard procedure for student assessment. Proposals are due August 30, 2013. View more information »


Gulf Coast Plains & Ozarks LCC Address Priority Knowledge Gaps

This LCC is looking to fund projects to address the following topics:

  1. Linking habitat and population objectives and integrating multidisciplinary conservation goals
  2. Quantification and Evaluation of Relationships between Species and Landscape Endpoints for Priority Systems
  3. Characterization of Flow
  4. Evaluation and Assessment of Incentives for Natural Resource Management on Private Lands: Identification of Economic and Cultural Endpoints/Indicators
  5. Targeting Science Need Themes in the GCPO LCC's Integrated Science Agenda

The RFP is for project values up to $350,000 per topic area. The deadline is August 30, 2013. See the announcement »

Keep Louisiana Beautiful Announces 2013-2014 Healthy Communities Grant

Keep Louisiana Beautiful is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Healthy Communities Grant Program. A link to the grant guidelines and application are provided below and are also available on the KLB website. Applications must be submitted via email no later than 5:00 pm on August 26, 2013. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. KLB will make all funding decisions on or before September 6, 2013.

PGCLC Recognizes Financial Support from Member Organizations

The PGCLC would like to thank the following for their 2013 financial contributions:

  • Galveston Bay Foundation
  • Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
  • Tall Timbers Land Conservancy
  • Trust for Public Land
  • Land Trust for Mississippi Coastal Plain
  • National Audubon Society
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Pelican Coast Conservancy
  • Alabama Forest Resources
  • Land Trust for Louisiana
  • Ducks Unlimited

We encourage all members and supporters of the Partnership to add their financial support and contribute to our success.  Please direct your contributions to the Land Trust Alliance, PO Box 33355, Raleigh NC 27636.

The PGCLC Recognizes Corporate and Foundation Support

The PGCLC would like to thank the following organizations for supporting our mission: to increase the pace, quality, and permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region.

  • ExxonMobil Corporation
  • Knobloch Family Foundation
  • National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
  • Southern Company
  • USDA Forest Service (pending)

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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