Gulf Stream March 2012 - Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Foundation News

Foundation participates in 7th Annual Gulf of Mexico Alliance Meeting
GMF President, Deputy Director and Foundation Program Managers coordinate sessions

The '2012 All Hands Meeting' for GOMA was held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Photo by: Omni Hotels, Inc.

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF) recently took part in the '2012 All Hands Meeting' for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's (GOMA) 7th annual meeting at the Omni Bayfront and Omni Marina Towers in Corpus Christi, Texas from June 19-21.  Buddy Garcia, Commissioner with the Texas Railroad Commission welcomed GOMA attendees in their second visit to Texas at the opening session. Keynote speakers included David Kennedy, Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service and Eileen Sobeck, the Department of Interior's Deputy Assistant Administrator for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. GMF President & CEO, Dr. Quenton Dokken led a session providing GOMA attendees with an update on the construction of the GMF's Habitat Restoration Technology Training Center (HRTTC) which will be located in Galveston, Texas. "The HRTTC will provide in-person and online habitat restoration training programs focused on a holistic, ecosystem-based approach, said Dokken. "The HRTTC will function as a center for workforce development, technical assistance, education and outreach services for businesses, organizations, communities, and government entities which use and depend upon the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico."  Foundation Education Program Manager, Suraida Nañez-James participated in a session on the importance of environmental education in the classroom. GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes and Foundation Program Manager, Mikell Smith coordinated a session on the importance of Habitat Conservation & Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. The GMF was founded in 1990 and continues to promote and facilitate conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico through education, public awareness, restoration projects, research, and leadership programs. GOMA is a collaboration of local, state and federal government partners from the five Gulf States, working together on the development and implementation of  programs geared towards resilient coastal ecosystems and economies.


Education & Training

Discovering How Much the Earth's Matter Really Matters
Foundation staff recently boarded the Joides Resolution Expedition Vessel

Children Outdoors - Photo ©
GMF Education Program Manager, Suraida Nañez-James on board the JOIDES Resolution vessel in May 2012. Photo by: GMF

Science educators from across the country recently gathered for the 2012 School of Rock Expedition on the JOIDES Resolution
research vessel. GMF Education Program Manager, Suraida Nañez-James was among the select few to take part in exploring and
discovering what the Earth has to tell us about such things as climate change and earthquakes. Nañez-James began her adventure back on May 22 in Curacao and sailed into Bermuda on June 1, 2012. As a participant, she studied geology, tectonics and life aboard a drill ship. The ship is not only capable of drilling deep into the earth but it provides scientists onboard labs to process the core immediately after it has been retrieved. While onboard, Nañez-James toured the
Core Lab which is designed specifically for the description and analysis of sediment and hard rock cores. Thanks to the guidance of the onboard science staff, Nañez-James processed cores from the Hess Deep and the Costa Rica Rift. Throughout the expedition, participants took part in thin section microscopy where they analyzed basaltic and gabbroic compositions, core rock descriptions and magnetic susceptibility testing. Participants then compared notes from the different cores in order to develop hypotheses about what their core samples were telling them. Nañez-James along with other participants came to understand the formation of the basalts, gabbros and periodites allowing them to deduce how the rate of cooling magna from the Earth’s mantle helps to shape some of the oceanic seafloor. "This was a terrific opportunity to learn more about the Earth's core. I am looking forward to seeing what was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico and see how the Foundation can connect it to its education programs," said Nañez-James.


Conservation & Restoration

GMF Co-funds Landmark Public-Private Restoration Venture
Foundation program manager makes a difference in Florida

CRP10-02 Elmer's Island Habitat Restoration
The Newman Branch Creek Fisheries Habitat Restoration Project, April 2012. Photo by: GMF

Gulf of Mexico Program Manager, Mike Smith recently represented the GMF at the dedication of a wetland restoration project located in Hillsborough County, Florida. The Newman Branch Creek Fisheries Habitat restoration project is the result of a partnership between Tampa Electric, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Ecosphere Restoration and the GMF.  It was the first time the district worked with a private landowner to conduct habitat restoration. Smith joined Tampa Electric employees and their families back on April 28th, 2012 to plant one lobe of the marsh. Earth moving crews dredged
 tidal channels and banks prior to the event. After a brief training session, volunteers set to work to install three species of wetland plants including: spartina alterniflora  better known as 'smooth cordgrass,'  spartina patens also known as 'saltwater cordgrass' and paspalum vaginatum commonly called 'salt jointgrass.'  In addressing the group Smith said, “To have a private partner step up and devote their resources in this way gives us hope that we can meet the challenges facing coastal habitat around the Gulf of Mexico." Newman Branch Creek was once a meandering stream flanked by lush mangrove forest and salt marshes before it was ditched and channeled over 60 years ago in order to prevent flooding. Invasive plants moved in, tidal flows were interrupted and vital fishery habitats were lost in the process. Through its Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Restoration Partnership Program (GCRP), the GMF co-sponsored the project proposed by Ecosphere Restoration Institute Incorporated, a non-profit collaborative of biologists specializing in habitat restoration and management. Funding for this second phase of restoration was provided by the SWFWMD, the GMF, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tampa Electric owns the land which will be protected under a perpetual Conservation Easement. For more information on the foundation's past and present restoration projects please visit the GMF website.


Making A Difference

Foundation Receives Support From New Member
The Gulf Protector level continues to grow

FGBNMS Blackjacks - Photo: GP Schmall
An employee with New Industries, Inc. works on an underwater oil rig. Photo by: New Industries

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation is pleased to announce that New Industries, Incorporated out of Morgan City, Louisiana recently became a member of the foundation by donating $5,000 at the Gulf Protector Level. By doing so, New Industries, Inc. has ensured the work of the GMF in restoring and preserving the Gulf of Mexico will continue to grow stronger. The Gulf Protector membership entitles the member to the following: invitations to attend GMF special events, recognition in the GMF annual report, mention in the GMF website, acknowledgements in printed educational materials for the foundation's Multicultural Educational Programs, acknowledgement with GMF habitat restoration partners in communities throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and finally, recognition on selected marketing materials such as t-shirts distributed to participants in various programs. "We are very pleased that New Industries, Inc. has joined our conservation family because without such support the job we do each and everyday would not be possible," said GMF President & CEO, Dr. Quenton R. Dokken. "We are extremely grateful." New Industries, Inc. was established in 1986 to provide quality, safe and on time steel fabrication services to the offshore oil and gas and marine industries. The company has grown over the years and remains under the same ownership and management. To find out how you can become a GMF supporter please visit our GMF support page. Support Sponsorships include Corporate Giving, Gift and Tribute Donations, Matching Gift Programs and Planned Giving. Eighty-five percent of all foundation funding contributes directly to the restoration, conservation and education of the Gulf of Mexico region.


Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Gulf of Mexico Foundation   |   PMB 51, 5403 Everhart   |   Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free   |   (361) 882-3939 phone   |   (361) 882-1262 fax   |   e-mail:

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