Partnership Update


2017 Annual Partnership Meeting Welcome

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation will host its 8th Annual Land Conservation Conference September 27 – 29 at the Pensacola Beach Holiday Inn Resort. This year’s theme is Best Practices in Landscape Scale Land Conservation.

This conference is designed to provide high quality educational opportunities for staff, board members and volunteers of land conservation organizations, as well as public agency partners, landowners, and professional colleagues. Join us for workshops, special networking events, and a plenary session featuring Wendy Jackson, Executive Vice President of the Land Trust Alliance. Ms. Jackson is the former Executive Director of the Freshwater Land Trust in Birmingham, Alabama which grew from having zero assets to holding cash and land assets of more than $40 million during her tenure.


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If you are unable to register online, please view Registration document to be emailed or faxed in.

You can see a brief overview of session topics and timing in the Schedule-at-a-Glance below!


September 27 – 29, 2017

Pensacola Beach Holiday Inn Resort

Pensacola, Florida

Wednesday, September 27

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Optional Field Trip. Visit protected lands and waters in the Perdido River


5:00 – 7:00 pm Registration

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Welcome Reception

Thursday, September 28

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast and Registration

8:30 am - 10 am Opening Plenary with Wendy Jackson

10:00 – 10:30 am Morning Break and Exhibitors

10:30 - 12:00 Noon Workshops

12:00 Noon – 12:45 pm Luncheon

12:45 – 1:30 Luncheon Panel: Best Practices for Land Conservation on Private Lands

1:30 – 3:00 Workshops

3:00 – 3:30 Afternoon Break and Exhibitors

3:30 – 4:30 Workshops

4:30 – 5:30 Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation Business Meeting

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Evening Social and Bonfire

Friday, September 29

7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 am Morning Plenary: Building the Case for Land Conservation

9:30 am – 12:00 noon Workshops

12:00 – 1:45 pm Luncheon and Panel Discussion: What’s next in Deepwater Horizon Ecosystem


1:45 – 2:00 pm Wrap-up and Adjourn.

Partnership Update


Conservation News for the Gulf of Mexico Region
March 23, 2017


New President, New Congress, and New Policies: Land Trust Alliance ProvidesGuidance on
Public Policy.

The 2016 election has brought change in Washington D.C. as dramatic as any time in memory. A major
change in the White House and executive agencies, paired by compatible majorities in both houses of
Congress. What does it mean for land trusts and our agenda? Member land trusts are invited to join
a webinar with political analysts and conservation policy experts on Thursday, March 30, from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time. For more information, and to register, click here.

There has been no better time to stand up for land trusts and conservation in Washington than the first
100 days of the Trump Administration. Please consider visiting your Congressional delegation and
executive branch officials in Washington during the 6th Annual Land Trust Advocacy Days, May1-3. For
more information, and to register, click here.

Six Coastal Parishes in Louisiana to Begin Adaptation Strategiesfor Increased Flooding

According to reporting from the Times-Picayune, some South Louisiana communities will be prone to
flooding even with the $50 billion investment in Louisiana’s 50-year coastal master plan. Most of those
funds are ear marked for erecting levees, restoring disappearing marsh and building new wetlands. For
some 26,000 homes and businesses across the coast, however, the projects in the master plan will not be enough to protect them.

In these areas, Louisiana expects to offera fraction of the master plan money to elevate homes and
“floodproof” businesses in 16 parishes—or to buy the properties outright. It’s a voluntary program, and the specific properties have not yet been identified. For more information about the adaptation effort, read the article.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Solicits Proposals for the Sea
Grant Education and Outreach Grant Program on Upland Restoration and Land

Partnership Update


Save the Date for the Annual Meeting and Conference!

Partnership Update



Conservation News for the Gulf of Mexico Region

REMINDER: Our email addresses have changed!

Please contact us at:

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation (Gulf Partnership) Receives
Capacity Building Grant.

The Southeast Program of the Land Trust Alliance has awarded a $24,000 grant to the
Gulf Partnership to strengthen the communications and public engagement efforts of
land trusts in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Gulf Partnership will use the grant to
provide additional resources to land trusts so that they can educate landowners,
policymakers and other stakeholders about the role that land conservation can play in
addressing coastal challenges such as water quality, water quantity, flood protection,
and habitat conservation. For more information, contact Julia Weaver at

Alabama Officials Invite Public Input on RESTORE and NRDA Funding Plans.

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council will hold a public meeting on Wednesday,
January 25, 2017 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Five Rivers Tensaw Theater to present its
recently released Project Evaluation and Selection Process for Multiyear
Implementation Plan (MIP) development for Bucket 1 of the RESTORE Act. As the
AGCRC previously announced, the focus areas for the first round MIP will be Economic and Infrastructure projects and related Planning Assistance.

In addition, this meeting will include an opportunity for individuals to provide input
on any of the project suggestions currently in the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project
Suggestion portal. To view the project suggestions, click on Alabama Coastal
Restoration Project Suggestion Submittals. Contact Eliska Morgan for more
information at (251) 380-7944 or

The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group has released its draft restoration plan for
NRDA funding. The restoration activities proposed in this plan will compensate the
public for lost recreational shoreline use opportunities in Alabama caused by the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Alabama plan recommends funding for the following
projects at an estimated cost of $70.7 million:

§ Gulf State Park Lodge and Associated Public Access Amenities Project -

  • § Fort Morgan Pier Rehabilitation – $3,075,000
  • § Laguna Cove Little Lagoon Natural Resource Protection – $4,400,000
  • § Bayfront Park Restoration and Improvement (E&D only) – $1,000,000
  • § Dauphin Island Eco-Tourism and Environment Education Area – $4,000,000
  • § Mid-Island Parks and Public Beach Improvements (Parcels B and C) – $1,900,000
  • Written public comments will be accepted through January 31, 2017 and public meetings will be held. For more information about the proposed projects and opportunities to provide feedback, please visit the NRDA website. NOAA to Host Webinar on 2017 Coastal Resilience Grant Opportunity on January 30, 2017.

The NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program will support two categories of activities:
strengthening coastal communities and habitat restoration. Applicants can now
submit proposals for both categories through the same funding opportunity.

Strengthening Coastal Communities: activities that improve capacity of multiple
coastal jurisdictions (states, counties, municipalities, territories, and tribes) to prepare

and plan for, absorb impacts of, recover from, and/or adapt to extreme weather events
and climate-related hazards.

Habitat Restoration: activities that restore habitat to strengthen the resilience of
coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme
weather events and climate-related hazards.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education,
regional organizations, private entities, and local, state, and tribal governments.
Typical award amounts will range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects lasting up to
three years. Cost-sharing through cash or in-kind contributions is expected. Projects
must be located in one or more of the 35 U.S. coastal states or territories.

Join representatives from the National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries
Service for a short presentation on January 30 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Click here for
more information: NOAA Webinar Sign-in.

Mississippi Officials Announce NRDA Restoration Plan, Set February 10 Deadline
for Public Comments.

The Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group released its Draft 2016-2017 Restoration
Plan/Environmental Assessment on December 27, 2016. The plan proposes the
selection of three NRDA restoration projects:

§ Graveline Bay land acquisition and Habitat Management;

§ Grand Bay Land Acquisition and Habitat Management; and
§ Upper Pascagoula River Water Quality Enhancement.

Comments on the draft plan are due February 10, 2017. For more information, visit the

Restore MS website.

Land Trust Alliance offers Webinar on Storytelling as a Powerful Tool in Land
Trust Communications on February 15, 2017.

Storytelling can be a communicator’s most powerful tool to increase engagement. Join
the February 15 webinar to hear master story teller Andy Goodman present Crafting
Your Message: Best Storytelling on the Web. Andy will showcase the best storytellers in
the public interest community, and demonstrate how land trusts can enhance their
storytelling impact and increase community engagement and connection. Space is
limited so visit the Land Trust Alliance website to register.

Funding Opportunities.

NFWF Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program Sets Deadline for January 26, 2017.

The Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program (GCCGP) is a competitive grants
program that supports priority conservation needs of the Gulf Coast that are not
otherwise expected to be funded under NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund or
other funding opportunities associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil

spill. Specific priorities focus on strengthening coastal resilience; advancing
conservation and management on private lands for wildlife and water quality;
and conserving living resources by protecting and accelerating the recovery of key
species dependent on the Gulf, including coastal birds, sea turtles, marine mammals,
and oysters. For more information, see the full announcement here.

Longleaf Stewardship Fund Announces 2017 Request for Proposals

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.

1) Partnership-based, Large-Scale Restoration (Significant Geographic
Areas) and 2) Strategic Restoration and Outreach. Proposals are due on Thursday,
February 9, 2017. View the full announcement here.

Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program Announces 2017 Grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry,
Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open
Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). Local
governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply.
The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land
from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as
sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and
wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from
serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured
with public access. Eligible lands are private forest that is at least five acres in size,

The Longleaf Stewardship Fund will award approximately $4.0 –

$4.7 million in grants in FY 2017. This program has one annual application cycle and

awards approximately 15-20 grants per year. Grants will be awarded in one of two


suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must
also be threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. The deadline is February 17 and
nonprofits must submit their applications through their State Forester. For more
information, visit the Community Forest Program website.

Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program Deadline Set for February 1, 2017.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) seeks applications
for the 2017 Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. The goal of the program
is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their
watersheds. The primary focus for applicants should be protection and stewardship of
the landscape that comprises the watershed, rather than restoration of degraded
habitats or projects with a strictly water quality improvement outcome. For more
information, read the full grant announcement here.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program Invites Proposals.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program seeks to develop nation-wide-
community stewardship of local natural resources, preserving these resources for
future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address
water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable
streambanks, pollution from storm-water runoff, and degraded shorelines caused by
development. The deadline for application is January 31, 2017. Read the full
announcement here.

EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program Sets January 31st Deadline for

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program provides funding for eligible
applicants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues
within an affected community. For more information, visit

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Standard Grants Program to Accept
Proposals until February 24, 2017.

The Standard Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program for projects
that involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and
associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory

birds. Applicants should contact the coordinator of the joint venture region in which
the project is located early in the process for guidance on developing their project and

proposal. Joint venture coordinators’ prioritization of NAWCA proposals from their
geographic region is a key element in the selection process. Find out how to connect
with your joint venture here. Find out more about the NAWCA Standard Grants
Program here.

Upcoming Events

State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit 2017 and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All-Hands
Meeting to be held March 26 – March 30 in Houston, TX.

Leaders in academia, industry, NGO, and government with a stakeholder interest in
the Gulf of Mexico are encouraged to attend. Over the next 15 years, the Gulf of
Mexico will be the focal point for one of the largest restoration efforts ever conceived.
More than $20 billion in restoration funding will provide an unparalleled opportunity
to effect positive change on a Gulf-wide scale. Adopting science-driven processes to
guide and evaluate these efforts; linking environmental and human health and well-
being to sustain the benefits of a healthier Gulf; and building international
partnerships to ensure the future Gulf we all envision is the driving goal of the fourth
State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit. For more information or to register, visit here.

Webinar on Establishing Explicit Biological Objectives to Guide Strategic Habitat
Conservation for the Gulf Coast to be offered on February 16, 2017.

If you are a Gulf Coast researcher, conservation planner, or wildlife biologist you will
be interested in the results of this collaborative project among the US Fish & Wildlife
Service (USFWS) and four Gulf Coast Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (including
the South Atlantic). Why? Because in its Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico
Watershed (2013), the USFWS lists an agreed set of biological objectives common to
Gulf partners as foundational to achieve the vision. The goal of this project is to
develop explicit biological objectives for each of 13 focal areas in the vision, along with
associated conservation targets linked to specific habitat characteristics, all contained
within a geospatial database. Click here for instructions for joining the webinar at 9:00
am CST.

University of Florida Levin College of Law to Host the 23rd annual Public Interest
Environmental Conference on February 9 – 11, 2017 in Gainesville, FL.

The theme of the 2017 conference is land conservation. The conference will bring
together legal practitioners, academics, policy makers, and private citizens to examine
the challenges, concerns, and future of land conservation law and policy from a
regional and national standpoint. For more information, visit the conference

The 2017 Texas Land Conservation Conference and Lobby Day will be held March 1
– 3, 2017 in Austin, TX.

Weeks Bay Foundation Organizes Clean-up Day near Fairhope, AL on February 11,

Join the Weeks Bay Foundation and Thompson Engineering for a fun day paddling and
getting the trash out of lower Fish River. Participants will meet at the Fish River boat
ramp at 10am and the Thompson Barge will shuttle folks and their boats upstream. At
the end of the day, you can paddle back down or hitch a ride back on the trash barge!
For more information, or to sign up, call 251-990-5004 or email

Restoration News by State, Courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

Mississippi. Mississippi officials are accepting submissions for its Beach Outfalls
Challenge, a public prize challenge sponsored by the Mississippi Department of
Environmental Quality which aims to improve water quality in the Mississippi Sound.
For more information, please go to the Beach Outfalls Challenge website.

Florida. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a
website complete with latest updates, resources, links, and newsletters, including
an overview of Florida’s response to the oil spill. Each impacted county engages
directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida
Association of Counties.

Louisiana. The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and
Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities.
View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website.

The Texas Land Trust Council has an excellent line-up of speakers and topics ranging
from real estate to land stewardship, conservation easements and various funding
programs, advocacy, historic preservation, conservation banking, Deepwater Horizon
oil spill funds, coastal conservation, and much, much, more! For more information
and to register, visit the Texas Land Trust Council website.

Alabama. Follow restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council
(AGCRC) here.

Texas. Oil spill restoration information in Texas and related items can be found on
the website

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is a coalition of more than two dozen
land conservation organizations whose shared mission is to increase the pace, quality and
permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region. The
Gulf Partnership is led by an Executive Committee comprised of leaders from our partner
organizations. The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain serves as our fiscal
agent. Find us on Facebook at and visit our
website at For more information regarding any item in this
newsletter, contact Julia Weaver at 228-219-2279 or