Partnership Update

June 13, 2013

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft Comprehensive Plan, Asks for Public Comments

The Draft Comprehensive Plan establishes the overarching restoration goals and describes the criteria by which the Council will evaluate projects. The public has been invited to provide feedback during a series of meetings across the region and through an on-line public comment process. Public meetings have been held in each of the Gulf States and a final meeting will be held June 17, 2013 in St. Petersburg, FL. The deadline for submitting comments is June 24, 2013.

The plan does not include the Ten Year Funding Strategy, nor does it include a project priority list because the trial between the Department of Justice and BP is on-going. The Council is also waiting for the Department of Treasury to issue guidelines regarding how the funds may be spent. View the plan >>

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation will submit comments in consultation with its 30 member organizations. Individual land trusts are encouraged to submit comments as well. Submit a comment >>

The Land Trust Alliance Offers Scholarships to the 2013 National Land Conservation Rally

The Alliance will offer two $500 scholarships to each land trust member of the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation (PGCLC) from the state and local level with with five or fewer FTE staff to attend the 2013 National Land Conservation Rally (Sept 17-19) in New Orleans.   

Study the Rally website and follow instructions for scholarship application. We encourage your land trust to come to the conference with a large delegation of staff and board members. If you are able, we encourage you to register for one of the intensive seminars offered on Tuesday the 17, such as the seminar on Conservation Financing/bridge loans.  Note also there will be a special topic seminar about Gulf Restoration and Resiliency efforts on Thursday the 19.   

Visit the Rally webpage >>
View the Rally Schedule At a Glance >>
View Rally scholarship information >>

PGCLC 5th Annual Meeting to be held Monday, September 16

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation will have its annual meeting the day prior to Rally – on Monday September 16 from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The meeting will take place at the same New Orleans Sheraton hotel/conference center where Rally will be held.   reception will follow the day’s activities. A detailed agenda will be available by the end of July.

Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to Develop Funding Plans with States

The National Fish and Wildlife Fund has set up the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to administer more than $2 billion in fines from the oil spill.  The GEBF Fund received $158 million in April 2013.  The fine money will be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources (habitats, species) where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources resulting from the oil spill.

Conservation organizations should contact the appropriate state agency in their state regarding potential projects

Alabama: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Florida: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission & Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Louisiana: Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
Mississippi: Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas General Land Office


Farm Bill Includes Conservation Funding

The Farm Bill (S. 954) was passed by the Senate this week and contains important victories for land trusts. Despite billions in cuts overall, the Senate bill makes no cuts to the levels provided in last year’s bill for the new Agricultural Land Easement program (ALE). Thanks to the persistence of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Colorado land trusts and the Alliance, we’re one step closer to a final Farm Bill that will allow some landowners to donate more of the easement value as match in the newly created ALE program, helping land trusts to conserve more land in more places.

The House bill (H.R. 1947) may be taken up the week of June 17. View Farm Bill updates >>

Free Workshop Offered: Breaking Through Barriers - Environmental Communication with Hispanic, Vietnamese and other Cultures

Eric Eckl of Water Words that Work will be leading this workshop and will be teaching us how to overcome language and cultural barriers to effectively communicate our environmental messages. This FREE workshop will be offered at two dates: On July 16 at 5 Rivers in Spanish Fort, AL and on July 24 at USM’s Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach, MS. To register, sign up online or via email.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Will Host All Hands Meeting In Tampa, Florida

The general membership meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is referred to as the ‘All Hands’ meeting. The event will be held June 25 - 27 at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt in Tampa, Florida. One of the highlights of the event will be the announcement of the recipients of this year’s Gulf Guardian Awards. The public is invited to attend.


Julia Weaver
Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation
Ocean Springs, MS

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
Expanded Easement Tax Incentives Help Sustain A Local North Carolina Farmer

Expanded Easement Tax Incentives Help Sustain A Local North Carolina Farmer

NC - Curtis Holbert wanted to keep his land the way it is. But Mr. Holbert knew that his current income was not sufficient enough to care for his farm and pay income taxes at the same time.

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