Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation - September 8 Update

UPDATE

September 8, 2016

Opportunities for Public Comment

RESTORE Council Releases draft Comprehensive Plan Update, Invites Public Input.

The Council is updating the Comprehensive Plan which provides guidance to the Council as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities.  The updated plan will take into account recent developments in Gulf restoration such as the resolution of civil claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a source of future funding for the Council’s projects. The update also captures important public input and lessons learned from the process of developing and approving its Initial Funded Priorities List (FPL),   Read the draft Comprehensive Plan Update here [PDF 4pp5.4Mb]Vietnamese Translation [PDF 37pp 5.8Mb]

The public is invited to review the draft plan and provide input to the Council about the changes during a public meeting or online.  All events begin at 5:00 pm with an Open House, followed by the official meeting at 6:00 pm. View the schedule of webinars and public meetings below:


Sept. 8, 2016 - - 5:00 p.m. CST
Webinar
Register to attend the webinar here

Sept. 12, 2016
Gulf Coast State College
Language & Literature Building, Room 38, 
5230 West US Hwy. 98 
Panama City, FL, 32401

Sept. 19, 2016
University of New Orleans
Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA, 70148

Sept. 20, 2016
5 Rivers Delta Resource Center
30945 Five Rivers Boulevard
Spanish Fort, AL, 36527

Sept. 22, 2016
Morgan City Municipal Auditorium
728 Myrtle Street
Morgan City, LA, 70381

Sept. 26, 2016
University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast
Fleming Education Center Auditorium
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS, 39560

Sept. 29, 2016
Sea Scout Base
7509 Broadway
Galveston, TX, 77554

Oct. 4, 2016 - - 2:00 p.m. CST
Webinar
Register to attend the webinar here

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) invites Input Regarding RESTORE Spending. 

MDEQ is in the process of developing the initial Mississippi State Expenditure Plan for the expenditure of funds under the Oil Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3) of the RESTORE Act.  MDEQ is looking for public input during this planning process.  Mississippi residents and visitors are encouraged to complete a short survey and share their views on the types of projects that should be funded by September 30, 2016. 

Alabama Officials to Host Public Meeting on September 15 to Discuss DWH Funding. 

The State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA), will conduct an informational Public Meeting on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Five Rivers Conference Center in Spanish Fort, AL.  Officials will provide an overview of the Consent Decree resolving claims against BP entered April 4, 2016 and update the public as to the status of previously funded DWH restoration projects.  Topics to be discussed include the amount and timing as to availability of funds allocated to Alabama under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.  For more information, contact the ADCNR.

Conservation News.

Florida Communities Begin Recovery Efforts after Hurricane Hermine. 

Hurricane Hermine caused widespread flooding and property damage as it came ashore on September 2, 2016 in the Big Bend area of Florida.  In the Tampa area, wastewater infrastructure was overwhelmed, resulting in sewage overflows into Tampa Bay.  Find out more about the extent of the damage, lessons learned, and how to help.

Baton Rouge Area Continues Drying Out, NOAA Study Points to Climate Change as Culprit for Historic Flooding.

Residents and communities continue to work on debris removal, rebuilding, and recovery.  Read more about the role of climate change reported by NOAA and other research organizations.  Find out about recovery efforts and how you can help.

1,000 Acres to be protected by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 

Last week the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District approved the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on more than 1,088 acres in the upper Myakka River watershed in Manatee County.  The district partnered on the acquisition with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, which works to save land in conjunction with landowners, businesses and government.  This critical habitat, known as Triangle Ranch, is home to more than 120 species of birds and numerous animals — from the endangered Florida panther to the threatened crested caracara.  Read the article about the Triangle Ranch project in the Miami Herald Tribune. 

Funding Opportunities.

NOAA Marine Debris Program Deadline is October 14, 2016.

This opportunity provides funding to support locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources.  For more information, read the full announcement at Grants.gov

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Small Grants Program Invites Proposals. 

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.

Upcoming Events

Sea Grant to Host Seminar on Building Resilient Communities: Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

This seminar will identify traits that made communities more resilient after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, discuss programs and resources that are available to communities, and share lessons learned in overcoming disasters and identify ways to strengthen resiliency.  The event will be held on September 27, 2016 in Long Beach, MS and may be streamed online.  For more information or to register, visit Sea Grant.

Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration Annual Symposium Scheduled for October 18 – 21, 2016 in Quincy, Florida.

 

Restoration practitioners and researchers are invited to attend the symposium to explore From Headwaters to High tide – Expanding Opportunities for Ecological Restoration: Current practice and research regarding the degradation and restoration of ecosystems in the southeast region.  The event will be held at the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, Florida.  Click here for more information. 

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.

 

Save the Date!  Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Announces Inaugural Restoration Summit on November 15, 2016.

On November 15, 2016, MDEQ will host the inaugural Restoration Summit. The Restoration Summit will feature information and presentations on current projects as well as community engagement opportunities to gather your input on Deepwater Horizon restoration efforts in Mississippi.  Information about the venue and agenda will be made available at the Restore Mississippi website

 

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 websitecomplete 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 julia.weaver@gulfpartnership.org

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