June 1 Update: Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation


June 1, 2015


Register now for the Gulf Partnership’s Annual Meeting on June 18 & 19 in Biloxi, MS.


The 2015 Annual Meeting will begin with a Sunset Cruise on Thursday evening, June 18.  The Gulf Partnership’s Annual Meeting will be held Friday, June 19 from 8 am – 2 pm.   The business meeting (8 am – 12 noon) will focus on issues such as governance, fundraising, and land conservation goals.  The event will close with a luncheon and panel discussion featuring Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and Tanner Johnson, Director, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (TX, LA) of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  The panelists will discuss opportunities for strategic land conservation in the oil spill restoration process.  

For lodging and registration information visit: 



NRDA Trustees Announce Phase IV Early Restoration Plan.  Public Comment Accepted through June 19, 2015.


On May 20, 2015, the Trustees published the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments. It is available for public review at www.gulfrestoration.noaa.gov.  The draft plan proposes 10 projects that have a combined estimated cost of $134 million. The proposed projects would benefit sea turtles, birds, and fish; increase recreational opportunities; and improve nearshore and reef habitats.  The projects are listed below:


•         Osprey Restoration 

•         Point aux Pins Living Shoreline

•         Shell Belt and Coden Belt Roads Living Shoreline

•         Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Trail Enhancement


•         Seagrass Recovery Project at Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida District


•         Bike and Pedestrian Use Enhancements at Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore 

•         Restoring Living Shorelines and Reefs in Mississippi Estuaries


•         Texas Rookery Islands


•         Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project

•         Pelagic Longline Bycatch Reduction Project


Public meetings will be held to discuss the plan and receive input from community members.  Each meeting will be held from 6 pm – 9 pm.   

Tuesday, June 2                   Crowne Plaza Hotel Pensacola, FL

Wednesday, June 3             Renaissance Mobile Riverview Hotel Mobile, AL

Thursday, June 4                 University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, MS

Monday, June 8                   Belle Chasse Auditorium Belle Chasse, LA

Wednesday, June 10            Texas A&M University Galveston, TX

Thursday, June 11                 Harte Research Institute Corpus Christi, TX

For more information visit: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/.


NOAA Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Deadline Set for July 24, 2015.


The Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency awards will fund projects that develop healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration and conservation.  Priority will be given to projects that:

  • restore habitat to support healthy fish populations and provide ecosystem functions that reduce hazards and risks associated with extreme weather events and a changing climate;

  • provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits and resiliency to extreme weather events, a changing climate, and allow for adaptation to known or potential climate change impacts;
  • implement on-the-ground restoration actions that result in immediate beneficial impacts;
  • demonstrate collaboration among multiple stakeholders;
  • receive approval from the state governor; and
  • result in socioeconomic benefits associated with restoration of healthy and resilient coastal ecosystems.

An informational teleconference and webinar for interested applicants for both the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants and the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants will be held on June 2 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., Eastern. The meeting will be recorded and posted afterward.  For more information, visit http://www.coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant.


Gulf of Mexico All-Hands Meeting to be held June 16 – 18, Biloxi MS. 


The 2015 Gulf of Mexico Alliance annual All Hands meeting will be held June 16-18, 2015 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Much of the meeting will be devoted to Action Plan III development through the reorganized Priority Issue Teams.  The Gulf Partnership will make a presentation to the Habitat Resources Team on Wednesday, June 17.  For registration information, visit http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/announcements/events/2015-all-hands-meeting/.


Field Guide to 2014 Farm Bill Fish and Wildlife Conservation Now Available.


The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) and a team of partners representing the North American Bird Conservation Initiative's Private and Working Lands Committee released 2014 Farm Bill Field Guide to Fish and Wildlife Conservation. This field guide is a tool to assist the staff of federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, nongovernmental conservation organizations, joint ventures, and other conservation partners in implementing Farm Bill conservation programs. It is primarily designed for those who work collaboratively with private landowners and agricultural producers to improve soil health, water quality, as well as fish and wildlife habitat.  Click here to download the guide: http://amjv.org/index.php/2014farmbillfieldguide.


NRCS Encourages Participation in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. 


NRCS is accepting applications from eligible entities, American Indian tribes and private landowners who are seeking to conserve agricultural lands and grasslands and protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands and their related benefits. NRCS is making $332 million in financial and technical assistance available to protect the nation’s critical wetlands and grasslands and to ensure productive farm and ranchlands remain in agriculture to feed a burgeoning world population. Conservation easements also provide habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species, including those that are endangered and threatened. Landowners and entities interested in using conservation easements to address natural resource concerns can submit applications at any time to a USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service office.  Though signup is continuous, funding selections are made at specific times during the fiscal year. For more information, visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/easements/acep/.


Gulf Restoration Network Seeks Communications Director.


The Gulf Restoration Network is seeking an experienced and passionate individual to further the advocacy and fundraising abilities of the Gulf Restoration Network. The Communications Director will develop and implement a communications plan that helps GRN fulfill its mission of uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico.  For more information, visit: http://healthygulf.org/who-we-are/jobs.


Working Lands for Wildlife.


Working Lands for Wildlife is a new partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to use agency technical expertise combined with $33 million in financial assistance from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to combat the decline of seven specific wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs.  For more information, visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?cid=stelprdb1046975.


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. For more information regarding any item in this newsletter, contact Julia Weaver, Partnership Co-Coordinator at 228-219-2279 or jweaver@lta.org.



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