Gulf of Mexico Alliance receives NOAA Coastal Resilience Award

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) received a major NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant today. Two of the six Alliance teams, Habitat Resources and Coastal Resilience, will work with 10 coastal communities to foster resilience planning and promote best practices for future mitigation actions.

Tracie Sempier (of Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance) and LaDon Swann (of Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant) are two of the project leaders who wrote the proposal that was selected for funding.

Read more about the project.

Nov. 18 oil spill science seminar to discuss Gulf seafood

The Sea Grant college programs in the Gulf of Mexico will host an oil spill science seminar, “Healthy Gulf Seafood,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Hardy Hall Ballroom at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, 730 E. Beach Blvd., in Long Beach, Miss.

shrimp web

The seminar will focus on how agencies tested seafood during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and what they found. Speakers also will talk about ways that fish and other animals break down contaminants, like oil, and how scientists monitor seafood to keep consumers safe.

There is no registration fee, and lunch will be provided. Registration is required to receive lunch. You can register online  or call Larissa Graham, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant oil spill extension specialist, at 251-348-5436.

The seminar will also be available online as a webinar.

The Oil Spill Science Outreach Program is a partnership between the Sea Grant programs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The Gulf of Mexico Alliance manages and administers funding for GoMRI. The purpose of the outreach program is to share oil spill science with people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf.

10-year commemoration to bring new tools, storm surge markers

Biloxi High Water Marker

Biloxi High Water Marker

With the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina coming up next week, the Mississippi Coast has been bustling. There are ceremonies planned to commemorate the progress of communities, media requests from around the country, book signings, fund-raising activities and even a planned visit from former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

One non-profit organization is using the anniversary event as an opportunity to promote its new risk finder tool. Surging Seas is a searchable web-based tool that displays populations, infrastructure and assets exposed to coastal flooding. The tool shows visual displays of how sea level rise will exacerbate flooding by allowing the user to create future scenarios. Users can explore risk exposure by ZIP code at city, county and state levels.

New tools are not the only thing to be unveiled. In the commotion of the coming weeks, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant will proudly be a part of ceremonies across the Coast focusing on flood awareness. We have been working closely with Mississippi coastal communities on an event that will showcase the new High Water Mark signs that are being placed in 18 locations across three counties.

Read more about Surging Seas and the Know Your Mark campaign.

Corpus Christi recognized as leader in climate planning

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice has awarded the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Community Award for the local community category to Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Heather Wade, left, a Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program and member of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice, presents Danielle Converse, Environmental Services Superintendent with the City of Corpus Christi’s Office of Environmental and Strategic Initiatives, with the Spirit of Community Award on April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

Members of the community of practice, a group of professionals in the Gulf who work together to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues, selected Corpus Christi for the award to recognize its leadership in planning for climate change.

“The creation of Corpus Christi’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was a data-driven process conducted by an interdisciplinary team with input from city decision makers and community stakeholders at every step,” said Heather Wade, Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program. “It generated implementation recommendations on topics from climate to urban agriculture to bicycle trails in the form of\action items that range from no-cost community-based activities to major capital improvements to the city.”

Corpus Christi participates in other resilience activities through Texas Sea Grant, the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Texas Nature Conservancy. The city also has a presence at public events and aims to educate the public on issues related to climate, such as coastal hazards, drought and water conservation.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice is made up of more than 400 education, outreach and extension professionals, as well as community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities.

The award has special meaning because recipients must be nominated by their colleagues and voting is open to all members of the Climate Outreach Community of Practice in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Corpus Christi was applauded for its climate-change outreach and planning efforts during the group’s annual meeting April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

For more information, see http://masgc.org/climate-outreach-community-of-practice.

Hanisko recognized for leadership in climate field

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice has awarded the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Community Award to Marian Hanisko, a coastal management specialist on contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gulf Coast Services Center and an Ocean Springs, Miss., resident. Her peers in this professional group selected her as the colleague most deserving of recognition for leadership in climate issues. Hanisko organizes climate-related webinars that allow for distance learning training, helps users explore climate-related tools, and facilitates meetings across the region.

award presentation

Niki Pace, right, research counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program presents Marian Hanisko, left, with the Spirit of Community Award on April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice is made up of more than 400 education, outreach and extension professionals, as well as community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice brings together extension, outreach and education professionals and community officials in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. Members work together so that they can be better equipped with reliable information and science-based guidance regarding the level of risk to their communities and strategies they can use to adapt to climate change.

The award has special meaning because recipients must be nominated by their colleagues and voting is open to all members of the Climate Community of Practice in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

“Marian works well with others, and as a Mississippi resident and former Coastal Training Program Coordinator with the Grand Bay NERR, she understands the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of local Gulf communities,” said Niki Pace, research counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.

Hanisko was applauded for her climate-change outreach efforts during the annual meeting April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

Marsh Maneuvers Video Online

Louisiana Sea Grant has a new video on YouTube. Learn about Marsh Maneuvers, a wetlands education residential camp held each summer for high school students. Click Here

LSU’s CERA Interactive Website Can Save Lives During a Hurricane

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1, and it’s expected to be an exceptionally busy year. There are tools, however, that can help mitigate a hurricane’s impact. Drawing on the resources of Louisiana State University’s Center for Computation & Technology, scientists at the LSU School of the Coast & Environment have developed the Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment interactive website system (CERA) to visualize several parameters from the ADCIRC Coastal Circulation and Storm Surge Model during an active hurricane. These parameters include storm surge, wind speed, water inundation above ground and other. Click for more information.

Video Shows Do-It-Yourselfers how to Turn a Barrel into an Inexpensive Oyster Nursery

Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) recently completed a video demonstrating how to build an oyster nursery silo from a 55-gallon plastic drum. The demo can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcd6m6c51Gg&feature=youtu.be.

John Supan, an oyster specialist with Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter and the director of the Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery on Grand Isle, has been a leader in researching the techniques and feasibility of hatchery-based, off-bottom oyster culture in the state. He developed the 18-minute nursery construction video with the assistance of the LSG Communications Office. In the film, Supan shows the tools, supplies and techniques needed for the project and walks the viewer through the entire fabrication process. Supan also demonstrates how to construct a silo from a piece of pipe that fits inside the drum silo to contain the tiniest seed oysters until they are mature enough to place in the larger silo.