July 28 Update: Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation


July 28, 2015


Recent Poll Shows Gulf Coast Voters Support Using BP Fines for Conservation and Restoration. 


A bipartisan research team released a survey of registered voters along the Gulf Coast on July 15, 2015.  Survey results include: 1) Voters place a high value on the Gulf and its contribution to the region’s economy and quality of life; 2) Voters remain very concerned about pollution in the Gulf; and 3) Respondents overwhelmingly support using the fines resulting from the BP oil spill on Gulf restoration and conservation projects.  To read the survey report, visit: http://www.trcp.org/images/uploads/wygwam/320-658-D2B_Gulf_Coast_Public_Memo.pdf.  To see the news coverage regarding the survey, visit: http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/07/use_bp_oil_spill_fine_money_fo.html and http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/07/poll_shows_gulf_coast_voters_w.html.


BP to Pay $18.7 Billion to Settle Deepwater Horizon Claims.


On July 2, the federal government and five Gulf Coast states announced an agreement with BP that will resolve federal Clean Water Act fines, payments required under the federal Oil Pollution Act's Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, and money owed the states for economic losses.  The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation (Gulf Partnership) believes that the settlement is good news for communities across the Gulf of Mexico region because it ensures that BP will pay billions of dollars on a predictable schedule to restore natural resources that were damaged by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The Environmental Law Institute created a good summary of the settlement: http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/agreement/

Louisiana to use BP Settlement Dollars to Fund Coastal Restoration Master Plan.

Louisiana expects to receive approximately $8.7 billion from BP to settle government damage claims from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.   These funds would be a significant source of revenue for the state’s $50 billion coastal restoration master plan.  For more information, visit: http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/07/bp_settlement_louisiana.html#incart_related_stories.

Gulf Partnership Celebrates Successes, Makes Plan for the Future at Annual Meeting. 


More than 40 representatives from partner organizations, natural resource agencies, and funders met in Biloxi in June to make plans for the future of the Gulf Partnership.  The Gulf Partnership will become an independent organization in the coming months after having been under the umbrella of the Land Trust Alliance for five years.  Kevin Brice, Director of the Southeast Program of the Land Trust Alliance announced a $100,000 grant from the United States Forest Service to assist the Gulf Partnership with the transition.


Free Seminars Offered on the Science of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.


Do you need additional scientific information to strengthen your land conservation proposals?  Sea Grant and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative are hosting free seminars to share the latest oil spill science with conservation professionals, policymakers, and the general public.  Consider attending these free seminars:

Navigating Shifting Sands: Oil on our Beaches

Wednesday, August 5th, Pensacola FL


Impacts of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Gulf Wetlands

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, Slidell LA

For more information, visit www.gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/presentations.


NOAA Releases DIVER & Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper.


The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has released new online tools to support resilience activities for the Gulf of Mexico.  The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper tool supports users undertaking a community-based approach to assessing coastal hazard risks and vulnerabilities by providing maps that show people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. Check out the Mapper here http://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/flood-exposure.

DIVER allows users to search the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Damage Resource Assessment (NRDA) data. It also includes pre-2010 historical contaminant chemistry data for the onshore area of the Gulf of Mexico. This is a nice companion for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's DWH Project Tracker. Try out the DIVER tool here: https://dwhdiver.orr.noaa.gov/.


Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Seeks Executive Director.


The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust is an accredited land trust located in Seguin, TX.  The Executive Director will work closely with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and will have responsibility for managing a variety of land and water conservation projects and the daily operations of the organization.    For more information, visit http://www.texaslandtrustcouncil.org/index.php/more-info/job-openings.


Land Trust Alliance to Offer FREE Coaching Sessions for All-Volunteer Land Trusts.


The Alliance is offering FREE coaching sessions to Alliance members that operate as all-volunteer land trust boards (defined as those either without staff or with a part-time staff member).  This service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Land trust expert Donna Erickson will provide advice about board development, fundraising, monitoring easements, and other topics.  To register for a coaching session, contact Donna directly to schedule a time and to define the topic(s) your land trust wants to discuss (ericksonconsultinginc@gmail.com or 406-370-0454).


Gulf Partnership Invites Project Assistance Fund Proposals in support of Due Diligence Costs 


Partner organizations are eligible for matching funds through the Gulf Partnership’s Project Assistance Fund.  These funds can cover costs such as appraisals and reviews, surveys, title and legal work, and environmental assessments for land acquisition and easement projects.  To date, 16 proposals have been approved and more than 25,000 acres will be protected.  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 at msinger@galvbay.org or 281-332-3381 ext. 206.


Visit our new website: www.gulfpartnership.org.  The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is organized under the auspices of the Land Trust Alliance which provides administrative and fiscal support.  The mission of the Gulf Partnership is to work together across the five Gulf of Mexico states to increase the pace, quality and permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the coastal region.

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