Partnership Update

March 1, 2012

BP Trial Delayed

According to the Times-Picayune, the start of the BP trial has been delayed for one week in hopes of reaching a settlement. Learn more.

Update on the RESTORE Act

Conservation groups are working hard to get the RESTORE Act passed in the Senate. Learn more.

Partnership Activities

In the past two weeks, the Partnership has sent letters advocating swift passage of the RESTORE Act to all of the U.S. Senators from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.  

The Partnership also sent opinion letters to all of the major newspapers in the Gulf region in support of the RESTORE Act. To date, our letters and opinion pieces have been published in the Galveston Daily News, the Houston Chronicle and the Baton Rouge Advocate. We also expect publication in major newspapers in AL, MS and FL.


What Role for Land Trusts in BP Settlement?

Sources close to the negotiations state that land acquisition and land protection are being advocated by conservation groups and government agencies.  Land trust questions regarding the role of nonprofits, how funds might be allocated, and who might ultimately own the protected properties cannot be answered at this time.  Information is being closely held by those who are parties in the settlement talks.


2012 Southeast Regional Land Conservation Conference

If you are planning to attend the conference, don’t miss out on the Gulf of Mexico dinner on Wednesday, March 14. Contact Heidi Hannapel (hhannapel@lta.org) for details. The conference will be held at the Sea Palms Resort on St. Simon’s Island on the Georgia coast. Seminars will be offered on topics such as how to strengthen land and forest conservation programs, managing and defending conservation easements in the future, partnering with the Department of Defense on military buffer zones, and expanding land trust community outreach and support.


NOAA-TNC Community-based Habitat Restoration Grants Deadline: April 13, 2012

NOAA and TNC are looking to support community-based restoration of a diversity of habitat types and no habitats are excluded. They will consider any innovative restoration project nationwide that supports NOAA trust resources, and particularly those projects that have a multi-species benefit or emphasize Ecosystem-Based Management. A focal area of particular interest, though not exclusive or limiting, is native shellfish (bivalve) restoration projects. There is a 1:1 federal match requirement.  Grants are typically between $25,000 and $85,000. Learn more.


Fish & Wildlife Service Connecting People with Nature Grants Program Deadline: March 16, 2012

A total of $31,250 has been made available for FY 2012, so these will be small grants. The program areas includes LA, MS, AL, and FL.  Texas is in the Southwest program office. The intent of the initiative is to support unfunded needs that target youth with the ultimate goal of educating and engaging the next generation of conservation professionals. All project proposals must be generated from a Fish and Wildlife Service office so Land Trusts must build partnerships with FWS for this opportunity.

Eligible project proposals must engage families, communities, or schools, include measurable objectives, and support regional needs and priorities.

Examples of project proposals that will be considered include (but are not limited to):  Festivals and Events, Formal Environmental Education Programs, Career Awareness Programs for Youth, Interpretive Trails and Guided Nature Walks, Restoration Programs, Nature Clean-up Programs, Hunting and Fishing Programs, Nature Art, and Photography.

Project proposals are due March, 16, 2012. Projects will be considered that range from $1,000 to $31,250 in scope, but no more than $31,250 worth of projects will be funded in the Region. Contact Julia at jweaver@lta.org for application package.


MOEX Settlement to Provide for Property Acquisition

MOEX Corporation, which had a small stake in the Macondo Well, will pay $70 million in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act resulting from the spill and agreed to spend $20 million to facilitate land acquisition projects in several Gulf states that will preserve and protect in perpetuity habitat and resources important to water quality and other environmental features of the Gulf of Mexico region. MOEX Offshore will ensure that properties within the states of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Florida are transferred to – or acquired by – state governments, non-profit groups, land trusts or other appropriate entities, to protect those properties from development. Learn more.


Walton Family Foundation Announces Grants for Habitat Restoration in the Lower Mississippi River Region

The deadline is April 15, 2012. These grants will support habitat restoration on frequently flood agricultural lands within the delta of AR, LA, and MS.  The primary purpose of this grant program is to advance projects that directly restore bottomland hardwood habitats and associated restoration (i.e. natural hydrology) and/or focus on reducing landowner impediments to accessing farm bill programs (and the subsequent delivery of wildlife habitat practices within those programs) in high priority geographies within the MAV (see details regarding allowable geographies and priority areas below). The WFF Conservation Grant will provide up to a total of $1.25 million in grants during calendar year 2012.  Contact Steve Brock by email at steve_c_brock@fws.gov or phone 601-529-4235 for more information.


Partner Spotlight

Congratulations to the Alabama Forest Resources Center!  AFRC recently accepted the donation of a 1,057 acre conservation easement on a tract along the Perdido River which separates Alabama and Florida.  This acreage is part of the Lillian Swamp which features coastal marsh, freshwater marsh, cypress-tupelo forests, Atlantic white cedar forests and pine savanna. Several rare and federally listed species are known to occur within the area.

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

Contact

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

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Success Story
510 Acres Protected on Bluff Mountain

510 Acres Protected on Bluff Mountain

TN - Marian E. Oates recently celebrated her love of the land by donating a conservation easement on her property.

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