Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation - December 9 Update


December 9, 2015


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) Approves Funding for 45 Environmental Projects. 

The Council today met today to approve funding for the first round of projects funded under Bucket 2 of the RESTORE Act.  Approximately $156 million will be invested in restoration projects that are designed to:

  • Restore valuable wetlands by backfilling 16.5 miles of abandoned oil and gas canals;

  • Conserve approximately 18,454 acres of high value coastal habitat;

  • Protect existing coastal ecosystems by plugging 11 abandoned oil and gas wells;

  • Improve water quality by working with private land owners to eliminate the use of approximately 16,000 pounds of fertilizer annually up to 15 years, and by funding activities that will result in water pollutant load reductions of approximately 60,000 pounds annually;

  • Advance comprehensive restoration by funding a range of water quality and/or habitat restoration planning efforts in 10 key watersheds and estuaries;

  • Invest in Gulf-wide science, coordination, and planning programs.

Materials related to project selection and public input can be found here:  The documents include:

  • Draft Initial Funded Priorities List released August 13, 2015

  • Public comments received

  • FPL Response to Public Comments

  • Initial Funded Priorities List to be voted on at the December 9 meeting

  • Current Funded Priorities List project fact sheets

The Council also voted to adopt the Spill Impact Component Rule which will govern the allocation of funds in Bucket 3. 

Land Trust Alliance Names Andrew Bowman as President.

The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America, recently announced that Andrew Bowman will assume the role of president starting Feb. 10, 2016.  Bowman currently serves as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s (DDCF) program director for the environment. During his 10 years at DDCF, he developed and obtained approval for more than $100 million in grants.  For more information, read the announcement here:

Register Now for December 10 Webinar on Private Land Partnership Opportunities with the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) $2.54 billion Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) supports projects to restore the natural resources that were impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NFWF works closely with state and federal resource agencies to select projects that remedy harm and eliminate or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2014, NFWF and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a partnership leveraging GEBF and other NFWF funds with NRCS conservation easement program dollars. This partnership presents a variety of opportunities for conservation on Gulf Coast private lands.  Join Mike Sharp, Director, NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund and Bridget Collins, Manager, NFWF Private Lands Stewardship for a live webinar update on private land partnership opportunities in the GEBF on December 10th at 10 a.m. CST/ 11 a.m. EST.  Please register at least one hour prior to the event by entering your information here:

Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Offer Webinar on Landward Wetland Migration on December 11. 

A free webinar will be offered on Friday, December 11 at 1:00 CST/2:00 pm EST to share information about resources for Evaluating Tidal Saline Wetland Migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast.  Alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios will be discussed.  For more information, visit:

Land Trust Alliance Southeast Program Seeks Conservation Manager.

The conservation manager position offers an exciting opportunity to play a leadership role in the land conservation community of the Southeast US.  The position is primarily responsible for developing, managing and delivering programs to build strong land trusts and enhance their capacity to achieve their missions more effectively.  The application deadline is January 29, 2016.  For more information visit


Gulf Partnership’s Project Assistance Fund Protects more than 15,000 Acres.

Through a generous grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation, the Project Assistance Fund provides matching funds for due diligence activities associated with land acquisition projects.  We are pleased to announce that six of the projects that have received matching funds have been completed, and more than 15,000 acres of critical coastal habitat have been protected.  Congratulations to Alachua Conservation Trust, Galveston Bay Foundation, The Conservation Fund, and The Trust for Public Land

Gulf Partnership member organizations are encouraged to apply for matching funds to prepare high quality land acquisition projects for potential funding through Gulf restoration funds such as NFWF, NRDA, RESTORE Act and NAWCA.  Grant funds may be used for appraisals, appraisal reviews, surveys and legal descriptions, title review, legal review, baseline documentation reports, and environmental assessments.  The Fund is being administered by the Galveston Bay Foundation.   For more information, contact Matthew Singer at or 281-332-3381 ext. 206.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Allocates $80 million in Third Round of Grants through Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

NFWF announced on November 10th the award of more than $80 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 22 projects in five Gulf States.  The projects, developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Land conservation leaders were pleased to see that thousands of acres of critical habitat will be protected and restored through land acquisition, conservation easement, and habitat restoration projects in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.  For more information about these projects, visit

United States Department of Agriculture Announces $350 million Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. 

Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the availability of $350 million to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation. The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created by the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming and ranching. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect these key resources.  Native American Tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs are eligible to partner with NRCS to purchase conservation easements.   For more information, visit

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released its Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA), a comprehensive report that evaluates the effects of climate change, sea level rise and urbanization on four Gulf Coast ecosystems and 11 species that depend on them. The ecosystems are mangrove, oyster reef, tidal emergent marsh and barrier islands. The species are roseate spoonbill, blue crab, clapper rail, mottled duck, spotted seatrout, eastern oyster, American oystercatcher, red drum, black skimmer, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and Wilson’s plover.  The GCVA was initiated by four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) that cover the Gulf of Mexico: Gulf Coast Prairie, Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks, South Atlantic, and Peninsular Florida. The LCCs are partnerships among federal agencies, states, tribes, non-governmental organizations, universities and other entities that collaboratively address broad-scale conservation issues in a defined geographic area.  

To learn more about the GCVA visit: To learn more about the Landscape Conservation Cooperative Network visit:

Land Trust Alliance Southeast Program Issues Call for Presentations for the 2016 Southeast Regional Conference.


The 2016 Southeast Regional Conference will be held May 11 – 13 in Birmingham, AL.  Workshop proposals are being sought for interactive sessions on a variety of topics including: advanced legal topics, land stewardship, volunteer management, board development, agricultural lands, urban conservation, and the impacts of climate change.  The deadline for submission is December 11.  For more information, visit:

Funding Opportunities


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program. 

NFWF’s Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program (GCCGP) supports conservation projects that enhance coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and bolster priority fish and wildlife populations, while strengthening resilience within the coastal region. The program supports priority conservation needs of the Gulf that are not otherwise expected to be funded under NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund or other funding opportunities associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (e.g., RESTORE Act, Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, etc.). The program seeks to advance innovative restoration concepts and approaches, and fund species and habitat projects benefitting Gulf coastal ecosystems and communities.  The deadline to submit is January 28, 2016.  For more information, visit

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Opens Longleaf Stewardship Fund Application Period.  

The Longleaf Stewardship Fund supports accelerated restoration and enhancement of the longleaf pine ecosystem on public and private lands.  The deadline for application is Thursday, February 4.  For more information, visit

United States Forest Service Invites Applications for Community Forest Program. 


The Community Forest Program provides financial assistance to local governments, Tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities to establish community forests that provide continuing and accessible community benefits.  Eligible lands are private forests that are at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to nonforest uses.  All applications must be received by State Foresters or Tribal governments by January 15, 2016 and budgets may not exceed $400,000.  For more information, visit


Upcoming Events


2016 Alliance of Florida Land Trusts Annual Meeting

January 7 – 8, 2016

Praire Creek Lodge, Gainesville, FL. 

For more information, contact Tom Kay, Alachua Conservation Trust, 352-373-1078.


2016 Texas Land Conservation Conference

March 2 – 4, 2016

Airport Hilton, Austin, TX

For more information, visit


2016 Land Trust Alliance Southeast Regional Conference

May 11 – 13, 2016

Birmingham, AL

For more information, visit


Find us on Facebook at and visit our website at  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



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