Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation - Update, December 18, 2014

UPDATE

December 18, 2014

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation(Gulf Partnership) Welcomes 31st Partner Organization: the Colorado River Land Trust (CRLT). 

  

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the CRLT works to preserve land and water quality in the Colorado River basin for future generations.  The Colorado River runs through the most beautiful natural areas in Texas, including the hill country, the farmlands of the coastal plains, and the coastal marshes and dunes of Matagorda Bay.  We are pleased to welcome the CRLT to the Gulf Partnership.  To learn more about the CRLT, visit their website at http://coloradoriverlandtrust.org/.

 

Gulf Partnership Invites Project Assistance Fund Proposals. 

 

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.  The next round of proposals will be reviewed in January 2015.  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.

 

Restore Council Drafts Annual Report to Congress. 

 

On December 12, 2014, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council posted the final draft of its Annual Report to Congress.  The document provides a summary of the RESTORE Act and the policies and plans adopted by the Council to address the restoration and protection of the Gulf Coast region.  It does not include project or program specific information, as the Council has neither prioritized for funding nor implemented any projects to date.  To review the report, visit: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/sites/default/files/2014-Annual-Repor....

 

Conservation Groups Promote Projects to Restore the Mississippi River Delta.

On December 9, 2014 the Environmental Defense FundNational Wildlife FederationNational Audubon SocietyLake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana released a new report entitled Restoring the Mississippi River Delta for People and Wildlife: Recommended Projects and Priorities.   The report describes a suite of restoration projects designed to reverse wetlands loss and help protect New Orleans and other coastal communities from storms. The project recommendations include sediment diversions, freshwater diversions, marsh creation, barrier island reconstruction, ridge restoration, shoreline protection and hydrological modifications.  For more information, visit http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2014/12/09/news-release-c....

 

U.S. EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Invites Gulf Guardian Award Nominations.

 

The US EPA Gulf of Mexico Program will accept nominations for the 2015 Gulf Guardians Awards until January 15, 2015.  The awards are designed to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and organizations that are taking extraordinary steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive.  For more information, visit http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/2014/10/nominations-are-now-ope....

 

NOAA Marine Debris Program Announces January 15 Deadline for Grant Applications.

 

The NOAA Marine Debris Program invites proposals for projects that will lead to the prevention of marine debris in marine and coastal environments.  Projects are expected to educate the public about marine debris through activities including, but not limited to:

  • encouraging changes in behavior to address marine debris; 
  • developing, using, and disseminating tools, products, and campaigns to improve efforts to address marine debris; and 
  • engaging the public in active, personal participation.

Projects typically receive between $30,000 and $60,000.  For more information, visit http://marinedebrisblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/now-open-fy15-mari....

Land Trust Alliance: Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Extended until Year’s End. 

The Senate voted on December 16 to extend dozens of expired tax incentives through the end of 2014. This includes the enhanced deduction for conservation easement donations. The President is expected to sign the bill.  The incentive has three components:

  • raising the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30 percent of his or her income in any year to 50 percent;
  • allowing qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100 percent of their income;
  • extending the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from five to 15 years.

It is important to note that the incentive only applies to easements donated as early as 2006 and as late as Dec. 31, 2014. The Land Trust Alliance will continue to work to make this enhanced deduction permanent, but as it stands it will expire at the end of this year.

 

Land Conservation Proposals Submitted for 1st Round of RESTORE Funding.  

As part of the implementation of the RESTORE Act, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council invited Council members to submit projects for funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component (commonly known as Bucket 2).  Approximately $150 - $180 million is available for Bucket 2 projects at this time.  Many of the submitted projects address the conservation priorities identified by the Gulf Partnership in the recently released report A Land Conservation Vision for the Gulf of Mexico Region.   To read the project summaries, visit:  http://www.restorethegulf.gov/release/2014/12/01/read-council-selec....

 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Longleaf Stewardship Fund Announce Funding Opportunity.

 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to expand and enhance longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management across longleaf pine’s historical range. The Longleaf Stewardship Fund will award approximately $4 – 5 million in grants in FY 2015.  The deadline for this opportunity is February 5, 2015.  For more information, visit: http://www.nfwf.org/longleaf/Pages/LSF-RFP-2015.aspx#.VH9wEDHF_EY.

 

Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program Issues Request for Proposals.

This program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources by funding projects for wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration, urban wildlife conservation, stormwater management as well as outreach, education and stewardship. Projects should focus on water quality, watersheds and the habitats they support.  Grant requests must be between $20,000 and $50,000 and a 1:1 match is required.  The deadline for this opportunity is February 3, 2015.  For more information, visit: http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/2015RFP.aspx#.VH9lUzHF_EZ

Landmark Report on Land Conservation Released by Gulf Partnership.

The Gulf Partnership released A Land Conservation Vision for the Gulf of Mexico Region on November 12, 2014.  The report documents the shared land conservation priorities of the 30 partner organizations that comprise the Gulf Partnership.  Developed in collaboration with The Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund, this report has been designed to be a resource for conservation organizations, landowners, as well as state and federal policymakers.  To download the Conservation Vision, visit: http://gulfpartnership.org/index.php/site/issue/strategic-conservation.  The report was discussed in detail in a recent article in Fortune Magazine: http://fortune.com/2014/11/12/bp-gulf-mexico-coast/.

 

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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