Newswise — (Ocean Springs, MS) The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) announced the award of more than $666,000 for 11 Gulf Star projects. This is the second year of the Gulf Star public-private partnership program. The awards, developed in consultation with GOMA’s Priority Issue Teams, address small, but foundational issues associated with coastal resilience, water quality, habitat resources, data and monitoring, wildlife, education, and ecosystem services. Together, these projects will provide data and information to inform the larger restoration efforts in the region.

The five year program supports projects that are tied to healthy ecosystems that impact Gulf economies. The 2017 Gulf Star partners include all five Gulf States, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Shell, Freeport McMoRan, The Nature Conservancy, Anadarko, and BHP Billiton. Gulf Star contributions from these partners leverage dollar for dollar.

“Some of our second year projects are building on the first. This allows for continuity across some of our Teams and for more impactful projects. We are looking forward to initiating all of the work in January 2017.” – Laura Bowie, Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

Unlike other restoration programs in the region, the Gulf Star program is completely voluntary and is a result of the dedication to the philosophy that collaboration bring exponential results. The 2017 project are:

Coastal Resilience

  • Fostering Resilient Building Practices I Smart Home America
    Project Location: Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas
  • Pointe-Au-Chien Community Resilience I First People’s Conservation Council, Louisiana Sea Grant, and Lowlander Center 
    Project Location: Louisiana

Data and Monitoring

  • Monitoring and Metadata Catalog I University of South Florida Water Institute 
    Project Location: Alabama
  • Living Shoreline Data Inventory, Gap Analysis, and Geodatabase I Gulf Coast Research Lab
    Project Location: Gulfwide

Ecosystem Services Assessment

  • Incorporating Socio-Economic Indicators into the Community Resilience Index I Harte Research Institute
    Project Location: Gulfwide/Texas

Education and Engagement

  • Watershed Monitoring with Underserved High School Students I Mobile Baykeeper
    Project Location: Alabama
  • Video Case Studies I Mississippi State University Television Center and Dauphin Island Sea Lab
    Project Location: Gulfwide

Habitat Resources

  • Seagrass Status and Trends I CNL World Consultants
    Project Location: Gulfwide
  • Sea Level Rise Workshop – TBD
    Project Location: Gulfwide

Water Resources

  • Citizen Science Water Monitoring in the Florida Panhandle I University of Florida
    Project Location: Florida
  • Louisiana Inshore to Offshore Water Monitoring I Louisiana Coastal Protection and RestorationAuthority
    Project Location: Louisiana

Wildlife and Fisheries

  • Understanding Recovery and Species Use of Restored Habitats I Abt Associates
    Project Location: Gulfwide

Brief project summaries and complete program information can be found on the Alliance webpage