Tuesday, December 15, 2020

GOMA welcomes Dave Reed as Program Director

Please join the Gulf of Mexico Alliance as we welcome Dave Reed to GOMA Headquarters as our new Program Director.

You may already know Dave from GOMA's Data & Monitoring Team. Or perhaps you are familiar with Dave from our popular "Tool Time" series? Dave's involvement in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance began with the old Data Management Advisory Committee. As Program Director, Dave's job is to support the Alliance's Priority Issue Teams in implementing their actions in Governors' Action Plan IV for Healthy and Resilient Coasts. It includes facilitating the Alliance Coordination Team as the bridge between the Governors' appointees and team members. He supports annual and semiannual team meetings, and tracking and reporting on progress of completed actions.

Upon joining the organization as an employee, Dave Reed noted, "I've enjoyed working with GOMA over the years as both a team member and co-Chair. I am looking forward to being able to spend 100% of my time collaborating and working toward Alliance objectives."

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has six priority issues, including enhancing coastal resilience, improving data access and baseline monitoring, increasing stewardship through education and engagement, conserving and restoring habitat resources, improving the health of wildlife and fisheries, and improving water quality. Three specific initiatives need multi-team support, including conservation and resilience planning, marine debris, and ecosystem services. All of these are well-functioning, volunteer committees that require intentional support to be successful.

"Dave has been a big part of the Alliance's success throughout the years. With collaborations around data and systems becoming more and more important to the region, we are super excited to have him join us full time," noted Laura Bowie, Alliance Executive Director.

As with so many who participate in GOMA, Dave serves remotely from his home base in Bradenton, Florida.

Get to know the rest of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance staff by visiting the meet our staff page of our website.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Cooperative effort extends Gulf Star monitoring project in Louisiana coastal waters

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Water Resources Team is extending a 2017 Gulf Star nutrient reduction project with funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These funds are to accelerate progress on reducing nutrients and improving water quality in 12 states that drain into Mississippi/Atchafalaya River watersheds. The states are members of the Hypoxia Task Force. The Task Force mission is to understand and address hypoxia (low oxygen waters) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is influenced by excess nutrients—nitrogen and phosphorus—in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya Rivers. This area of low oxygen is often referred to as the ‘dead zone.’

Cooperative efforts by the Louisiana Coastal Protection Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the EPA ensured that the project extends until 2021. The GOMA Team initiated the Gulf Star project to inform coastal restoration and nutrient management activities in Louisiana by monitoring water quality parameters, including nutrients, along a transect extending from Barataria Pass to offshore waters in 2018-2019. The Hypoxia Tasks Force states funding establishes a longer-term data set that helps fill a critical monitoring gap. It informs the nearshore to offshore environment, provides water quality baseline data, and supports nutrient uptake modeling to evaluate nutrient dynamics in response to a river diversion.

Planned, constructed river diversions rebuild, and sustain Louisiana’s coastal wetlands after decades of land loss. In turn, diversions have the value-added benefit of assimilating and removing nutrients that entered the Mississippi River system from Louisiana or upriver states. As such, diversions are an integral part of Louisiana’s Nutrient Management and Reduction Strategy, a multiagency effort to manage and reduce nutrients originating within the state’s waterways.

The Gulf Star Louisiana Inshore to Offshore Water Monitoring study has grown to include additional parameters, multiple agencies, multiple data uses, and multiple years.  Thank you GOMA and EPA!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Register now to attend the Dec. 1-3 virtual Bays and Bayous Symposium

Register now to attend the Dec. 1-3 virtual Bays and Bayous Symposium 
If you have an interest in coastal sciences, you are invited to attend the virtual 2020 Bays and Bayous Symposium from Dec. 1-3. All you have to do is register, and you can attend from anywhere, for free.
The Bays and Bayous Symposium will focus on coastal research, extension and education in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As a registered attendee, you will be able to view over 160 presentations from scientists, engineers, resource managers, local government leaders, NGOs, graduate students, agency professionals and more. You also can create a personalized schedule of sessions that interest you, use live chat and Q&A features during presentations and panels, attend a virtual social hour and more!

The symposium sessions focus on current research and coastal issues including:

  • Disasters and Disruptions: New research, perspectives and/or updates on human and ecological impacts, restoration, extension and education, and outreach-related discoveries related to major disruptions and disasters (hurricanes, oil spills, pandemics, freshwater inflow) affecting the Gulf Coast.
  • Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Insights and research about habitat protection, conservation and restoration in light of the inevitable changes to our coasts.
  • Living Marine Resources: Research that addresses management questions necessary for sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ranging from single species to entire ecosystems.
  • Resilient Communities and Economies: How communities adapt to natural, anthropogenic and social impacts of coastal hazards.
  • Water Quantity and Quality: Assessment of alterations in water quality and quantity, identification of human health and ecosystem impacts, and improved management of the critical resource.

The theme of the symposium is "Sound Science, Sound Policy: A 2020 Vision for the Future," and live panels will include Disasters and Disruptions, The Great Red Snapper Count, Coalitions for Undertaking a Comprehensive Watershed Restoration and Improving Environmental Management, and Science and Policy for Oyster Management. The program for the Bays and Bayous Symposium is now online.

Symposium sponsors include the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Alabama State Port Authority, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Hydro Engineering Solutions, The University of Southern Mississippi, Geosyntec Consultants, Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Neel-Schaffer, Headwaters LLC, Stantec, Dog River Clearwater Revival, Environmental Science Associates, Thompson Engineering, The Northern Gulf Institute and Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Announcing the Gulf of Mexico Conference 2021


Please mark your calendars for The Gulf of Mexico Conference (GoMCon) “preview” on April 14th, 2021! 

GoMCon combines the annual Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) All Hands Meeting, the annual Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystems Science (GoMOSES) Conference, and the triannual State of the Gulf Summit.  The virtual GoMCon preview emphasizes the intersection of scientific research and the management of Gulf Coast human and natural systems, the focus of the 2022 in-person conference.   

The 3-hour virtual preview includes a keynote speaker and panels designed to present:

·         Where we are: the status of Gulf coastal and ocean research and restoration.

·         Where we are going: what science and research is needed to inform Gulf restoration and management.

·         How to get there: the funding needed to achieve necessary Gulf science and research.

The preview is an introduction to the main event, the in-person conference in 2022!  It is a great way to make sure researchers, coastal resource managers, and interested stakeholders have an opportunity to collaborate on managing this precious natural resource we call the Gulf of Mexico.

The event is free. For more information and to register, please visit the GoMCon website at https://gomcon2021.dryfta.com.  Check back often for updates regarding speakers and panelists.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

We’re excited to announce our Fully Serving the Underserved keynote speaker is …


The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Education and Engagement Team is excited to announce that Esri’s Clinton Johnson is the keynote speaker for the “Fully Serving the Underserved” virtual workshop in January. Mr. Johnson’s presentation focuses on the challenges and opportunities related to working with underrepresented and underserved populations in STEM professions.

Four virtual sessions will be spread across two days with breaks in between. The Team is building a strong suite of panelists to discuss identifying, engaging, and supporting diverse communities. Three sessions are designed with interactive scenarios so participants can consider the best practices learned during the session.

All four sessions are iterative with each building upon the previous one. We encourage you to participate from the beginning but do know you can join any session. The workshop is free. Space is limited. Register now to ensure your place in this professional development opportunity kicking off 2021.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Tool Time with Dave is rescheduled


Tool Time with Dave is rescheduled.

Due to the potential impacts of Hurricane Sally on Gulf of Mexico Alliance northern Gulf Coast partners, Tool Time with Dave is rescheduled for September 29th.

Be sure to join the program on the new date for the same tools on socioeconomics and ecosystem services. Get complete information on www.gulfofmexicoallianceorg/tooltime/.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Studying the economic outcomes associated with HAB events

To understand the financial impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs), the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources Team worked with economists at the Balmoral Group. The project quantified the linkages between economic outcomes and Gulf of Mexico coastal health. The team focused on six metro areas along Florida’s gulf coast – Lee, Collier, Pinellas, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, and Hillsborough counties.

Data analyzed included economic metrics connecting Florida red tide events to tourism, housing sales, and fishing activity. The metrics were supplemented with Google search trends and social media posts about red tides. They learned the events highly correlated with how customers canceled hotel rooms, dinner reservations, and fishing trips. Even on days when no red tide was present based on water sampling, news stories and social media shares affected customer behavior.

The team compiled their results with GIS data and created an enhanced temporal resolution of HAB data impacts. Access the online dashboard with the detailed information represents this information.