October 25, 2016
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Released Final Rule for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
NRCS recently released the final rule for the Agricultural Land Easement and Wetland Reserve Easement programs. More than 100 organizations submitted comments about the rule last spring, including the Land Trust Alliance and many land trusts. The Land Trust Alliance is still reviewing the final rule and determining how this will impact the ability of land trusts to be partners in ACEP. Please review the final rule and provide feedback regarding how this will impact your land trust to Brian David at the Land Trust Alliance.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program Seeks 2017 Gulf Guardian Nominations.
The Gulf Guardian Awards recognize environmental excellence towards achieving and preserving healthy and resilient coasts in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The deadline to submit nominations is Monday, October 31st, 2016. For more information, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program website.
Alabamians Encouraged to Complete Survey on Alabama Coastal Comprehensive Plan by October 31st Deadline.
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is partnering with the State of Alabama, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to develop the Alabama Coastal Comprehensive Plan (ACCP), a constituent-informed, science-based plan to strengthen the economic, environmental, and social resilience of south Alabama for current and future generations. Alabama residents are encouraged to provide input for the plan by completing a 20 minute survey. For more information and to complete the survey, visit the MBNEP survey website.
Louisiana Officials Propose Six Projects for Natural Resources Damages Assessment (NRDA) Funding, Invite Public Comment.
Restoration types and geographic areas prioritized for this plan include:
Restore and Conserve Habitat—Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, in Barataria Basin,
Restore and Conserve Habitat—Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, in Terrebonne Basin;
Restore and Conserve Habitat—Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, in Pontchartrain Basin;
Restore and Conserve Habitat—Habitat projects on Federally Managed Lands, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve; and
Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources—Birds, Queen Bess Island and Rabbit Island.
The public can comment on the draft plan through Nov. 21, and after the comments are reviewed, a final version of the plan will be released. For more information, read the draft restoration plan. Comments may be submitted here.
North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Small Grants Program Invites Proposals prior to November 3rd Deadline.
The Small Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. Proposers are encouraged to contact the Joint Venture Coordinator in your project area for assistance with developing a project proposal, for information about how proposals are ranked, and/or for guidance on Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and National Historic Preservation Act compliance requirements. The deadline is November 3, 2016. For more information, visit the NAWCA webpage.
Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program Deadline Set for February 1, 2017.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) seeks applications for the 2017 Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. The goal of the program is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. The primary focus for applicants should be protection and stewardship of the landscape that comprises the watershed, rather than restoration of degraded habitats or projects with a strictly water quality improvement outcome. For more information, read the full grant announcement here.
Audubon Florida to Host Audubon Assembly October 28 – 29 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Audubon Assembly is a great chance for conservationists to reconnect with natural Florida, attend interesting workshops with leading guest speakers, join local Audubon chapter leaders for field trips to their special places, take part in Audubon Florida’s unique conservation agenda setting session...and much more! Visit the event website for more information about registration and accommodations.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to Host Public Meeting on Restoration of Turkey Creek on November 3rd.
The meeting will be held at the Good Deeds Community Center, Gulfport, MS at 6:00 pm. The Turkey Creek restoration project is intended to conserve important habitat and enhance water quality in the 30,000-acre Turkey Creek watershed. Restoration will include hydrological restoration of wetlands, riparian buffers, invasive species management, debris removal, and stream bank stabilization.” For more information on the project or the public meeting, please visit the MDEQ website.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Restoration Summit to be held on November 15, 2016.
On November 15, 2016, MDEQ will host the inaugural Restoration Summit at the Biloxi Convention Center from 2:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The Restoration Summit will feature a session on the major funding sources, a presentation on current restoration projects, as well as opportunities for the public to provide input for future restoration efforts. For more information and a detailed agenda, visit the Restore Mississippi website.
Texas Land Conservation Conference, March 1 – 3, 2017
The Texas Land Trust Council (TLTC) will host the 21st Annual Texas Land Conservation Conference March 1 - 3, 2017 at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel. TLTC’s goal for each conference is to deliver diverse, innovative, and relevant education to land conservation organizations, public agency partners, landowners, and professional colleagues throughout the state. The 2017 conference will feature a panel session on Deepwater Horizon investments in restoration and conservation on the Texas coast. Details soon! Learn more about the conference here.
Weeks Bay Foundation Seeks Development and Communications Coordinator
The Development and Communications Coordinator (DCC) will work with the Executive Director and Office Manager to further the mission of the Weeks Bay Foundation. That mission is to partner with the Weeks Bay Reserve to protect valuable coastal habitat in Alabama and educate the public about the importance of these resources. For more information, please go to http://www.weeksbay.org/career.html.
Restoration News by State, Courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.
Alabama. Follow restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) here.
Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has updated Making Mississippi Whole. The site now contains a new Transparency Database.
Florida. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a website complete with latest updates, resources, links, and newsletters, including an overview of Florida's response to the oil spill. Each impacted county engages directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties.
Louisiana. The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website.
Texas. Oil spill restoration information in Texas and related items can be found on the website www.restorethetexascoast.org.
The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is a coalition of more than two dozen land conservation organizations whose shared mission is to increase the pace, quality and permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Gulf Partnership is led by an Executive Committee comprised of leaders from our partner organizations. The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain serves as our fiscal agent. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GulfPartnership and visit our website at http://gulfpartnership.org. For more information regarding any item in this newsletter, contact Julia Weaver at 228-219-2279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.