In March 2022, the Gulf Partnership finalized a new Strategic Conservation Vision tool. Developed to help guide strategic land and water conservation across the Gulf, this model, builds off prior Gulf Partnership reports, prioritizing conservation priorities of the nonprofit land conservation community, while incorporating regional conservation indices, such as longleaf pine recovery, wetland protections, and riparian and wildlife corridors to create a multitiered guide for conservation.
This free online tool is available for anyone interested in landscape conservation across the Gulf of Mexico region.
In 2014, the Land Trust Alliance (the Alliance), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and The Conservation Fund (TCF) pooled their resources to assist the Gulf Partnership with the implementation of a science-based, replicable planning process to identify priority areas for conservation within the five Gulf Coast states. Our approach included several steps:
This report can be found below and served as the building block for the eventual Strategic Conservation Vision mapping tool.
In 2020, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, RESTORE Council, and the Strategic Conservation Assessment Team (SCA), in partnership with Mississippi State University Quantitative Ecology and Spatial Technologies Lab worked to build off prior regional planning efforts to launch a new geospatial planning tool that would identify regional conservation needs and align funding programs to promote strategic land conservation.
One of the largest collaborative stakeholder tool-building endeavors, the SCA Team, and Gulf Partnership worked with 24 regional partners, representing a diverse coalition with a variety of goals and objectives.
Six priority conservation layers were identified by the working group. Additionally, to ensure the inclusion of the Partners’ focus areas, we encouraged each partner to provide geospatial data files of their priority conservation areas of interest. Finally, a ranking was established based on overlapping conservation priorities to create a multitiered geospatial tool for conservation across the Gulf states. (Images Below)
The Strategic Conservation Vision (SCV) was incorporated into the Project Assistance Fund (PAF) Program to guide funding for on-the-ground conservation efforts. In its first year, the SCV tool guided approximately $350,000 in funding for 23 regional projects, covering over 26,000 acres and leveraging an estimated $48,000,000 in conservation value. With these results, the Gulf Partnership continues to incorporate the SCV tool into its conservation programs, ensuring continual alignment with regional planning efforts.
"We will have a dynamic, online Conservation Vision that will aid our efforts and those in the region in making decisions about conservation priorities both for acquisition as well as restoration.” - Tom Kay, former Chair - Gulf Partnership Board of Directors