Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) today released an update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The update provides additional strategic guidance for the Council to follow as they make decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico.

The Council will meet to vote on the Comprehensive Plan Update and hear from some of its key restoration partners including representatives from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

The meeting will be Friday, December 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Celestin Ballroom Section E (3rd Floor), 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 70113 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. CST. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, and to register for this meeting please click here.  Onsite registration will be available on the day of the meeting from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. This meeting is also available via live webinar and may be posted on www.RestoreTheGulf.gov. You can register for the webinar here (link is external). 

The Comprehensive Plan Update is intended to improve Council decisions by: 

  • Reinforcing the Council’s goals and objectives,
  • Setting forth an initial Ten-Year Funding Strategy,
  • Establishing the Council’s vision for Gulf restoration,
  • Increasing collaboration among Council members, partner restoration programs and the public,
  • Providing for advancement of large-scale projects and programs;
  • Refining the process for ensuring that the Council’s decisions are informed by the best available science; and
  • Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of Council actions.

 The Council has updated its Initial Comprehensive Plan to include 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), its first slate of restoration activities to be funded through the RESTORE Act, and positions the Council to make the most effective use of future funds as they become available beginning in 2017.

“The Council is pleased to present this Comprehensive Plan Update,” said Justin R. Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Council. “We thank the public for comments provided on the draft update. The Council has incorporated modifications to the update based on public input. We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders as we move forward with comprehensive restoration across the coast.”

Background

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) and the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund), and dedicates 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Trust Fund, for restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region. The Council is responsible for administering 60 percent of the total funding allocated from the Trust Fund: 30 percent (plus interest) under the Council-Selected Restoration Component and 30 percent under the Spill Impact Component. The Council is chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and members include the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, as well as the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, the Army and the Interior, and the Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Council is responsible for helping to restore the ecosystems and economies of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities. Read more about the Comprehensive Plan, the RESTORE Act and the Council at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.

Posted on 12/08/16 at 01:54 PM Permalink

Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council releases Project Evaluation and Selection Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

December 6, 2016 - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) has released its Project Evaluation and Selection Process for Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) development for Bucket 1 of the RESTORE Act.  In addition, the AGCRC announced the focus areas for the first round MIP will be Economic and Infrastructure projects and related Planning Assistance

Click on the following links to review the project evaluation process documents:

In an effort to ensure your project suggestion is received in time for consideration by the AGCRC for potential first round funding under the RESTORE Act’s Direct Component (Bucket 1), please enter your project suggestion(s) into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal by January 13, 2017.  If you have already entered your project suggestion on this website, it is not necessary to re-submit.  Go to www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org to enter a new project suggestion or to review project suggestions currently in the portal.  For information on the RESTORE Act, go to www.restorealabama.org.

The AGCRC will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Five Rivers Tensaw Theater that will include an opportunity for individuals to provide public input on any of the project suggestions in the portal.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on or before January 19, 2017 by contacting Eliska Morgan at (251) 380-7944 or eliska.morgan@dcnr.alabama.gov.

Posted on 12/06/16 at 04:13 PM Permalink

RFP: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

Announcement Date:  November 1, 2017

Closing Date:  January 31, 2017

Posting Locations: 

  1. EJ Small Grants Program Page:  https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/fiscal-year-2017-ej-small-grants-request-proposals
  2. EJ Small Grants RFP on Grants.gov: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289829

Pre-Application Calls:
There will be four (4) Pre-Application Assistance calls during the open solicitation to address questions regarding:

  • ​The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.
  • Threshold eligibility criteria.
  • Administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal.
  • Requests for clarification about the announcement.

PRE-APPLICATION ASSISTANCE CALLS
Call-in information: 1-866-299-3188 and, when prompted, enter code 202-564-0152.
The dates and times are listed below. This information is also included in the 2017 RFP.

Date and Time (Eastern Standard)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 8, 2016 (en Española)
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 12, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Please Note: 
All times are Eastern Standard.
Applicants are responsible for the contents of their applications; including the RFP’s stipulations.

Posted on 11/10/16 at 04:19 PM Permalink

Out for public comment: Bon Secour River Watershed Management Plan

The Bon Secour River, Oyster Bay, Skunk Bayou Watershed Management Plan is out for public comment until December 9, 2016. Click here to downloan and review the plan. Comments should be sent to Project Manager, Leslie Gahagan (lgahagan@cityoffoley.org). 

Posted on 11/10/16 at 03:53 PM Permalink

Oyster Obsession: Studying Oysters at Alabama’s Half-Shell High School

Article published by oyster-obsession.com

NOVEMBER 3, 2016

BY SUSAN RAY

Sometimes an oyster obsession becomes a vocation. For a couple of Mobile Bay area teachers, the obsession spawned a high school curriculum. Julian Stewart, Aquaculture Program Director at Alma Bryant High School in Irvington, Alabama, has taught at the school for seventeen years. He recently started the Half-Shell High School program with his wife and fellow teacher, Lynn, even securing an EPA grant, to help promote and preserve off-bottom oyster farming in the area. We were able to catch up with Stewart for a Q&A to reflect on the changes he sees in the industry, his thoughts on its future, and the difference this program is making.

Click here to continue reading...

Posted on 11/09/16 at 10:46 AM Permalink

Homer Singleton, AWW trainer & monitor extraordinaire!

Article published by Alabama Water Watch
Click here to view

Homer Singleton attended his first AWW workshop in Elberta, Alabama in the Wolf Bay Watershed in 2003.  In October 2007, with four years of monitoring under his belt, Homer got certified as both a water chemistry and bacteriological monitoring trainer.  Since that time he has conducted or helped conduct 74 workshops, 22 recertification sessions, and has issued more than 371 certifications to over 186 volunteer monitors –  WOW- what an impact!. In recognition of his outstanding service as an AWW trainer, Alabama Water Watch was honored to present Homer with the 2013 Trainer of the Year Award.

Continue Reading

Posted on 11/09/16 at 08:28 AM Permalink

RFP: Graphic and Website Design Decision-Support Tree

Deadline 4 pm Central/5 pm Eastern January 2, 2017

The NGOM Sentinel Site Cooperative, Gulf of Mexico Alliance Resilience Team, and the Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice are working together to develop an online, interactive climate tool decision-support tree. Therre are over 100 existing tools and models that can be used to predict future climate conditions, so many that users feel overwhelmed with available choices and are unclear which model or tool to utilize. This project focuses on the development of a website that will step users through a series of target questions to identify the best tool for their project.

In this RFP, we seek a contractor/team with expertise in graphic design and web programing who will complete tasks for our decision-support tree project. 

See full announcement here.

Posted on 11/08/16 at 04:29 PM Permalink

Grand Bay NERR Internship Opportunity

The Department of Marine Resources is currently seeking one contract worker for the position of Grand Bay NERR Intern at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) in Moss Point, Mississippi. The MDMR manages all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands, and waterfront areas to provide for the balanced commercial, recreational, educational, and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. This is a contract position for a period not to exceed one year. 

Click here for more information.

Posted on 11/08/16 at 04:27 PM Permalink

Map for Mobile: New City-Wide Zoning Code Open House

Posted on 10/19/16 at 01:33 PM Permalink

Amphibious Assault Clean Up Event

                                

 

THOMPSON ENGINEERING

In partnership with

MOBILE BAY NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM'S

BUSINESS RESOURCES COMMITTEE

Invites you to participate in an Amphibious Assault clean-up of One Mile Creek and the Maple Street tributary as an implementation measure of the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan.

When: Friday November 11th from 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. (join us all day or an hour or two).  Lunch will be provided, along with gloves, pickers, and bags.

Where: One Mile Creek from the confluence with TMC to the headwaters in downtown Mobile and Maple St. tributary from street end to its confluence with One Mile Creek.

What:  Removal of “legacy trash” by boat along shorelines and water surface.

Why: To address pervasive and long standing problem that compromises habitat value, water quality, and aesthetics.

Contact Rick Frederick with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program for additional information, (251) 380-7941 or rfrederick@mobilebaynep.com

 

 

Posted on 10/13/16 at 09:04 AM Permalink