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Collaboration and Partnerships

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Gulf of Mexico Governors’ Alliance
Office of Water, Regions 4 & 6, Gulf of Mexico Program Office

Geographic location or area of activity:  The 11 Bi-national (5 U.S. & 6 Mexican) coastal states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.

Description of activity:  In response to the President’s Ocean Action Plan, the five U.S. Gulf State Governors’ Alliance, in March 2006, put forward a 36-month Action Plan comprised of 73 specific challenges designed to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico in their Governors’ Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts.  Under the joint leadership of EPA and NOAA, a 13 member multi-agency Federal support team is coordinating the broadly leveraged implementation of these activities.  As of the close of 2007, Plan implementation progress is substantially ahead of schedule – 90% are either complete or substantially on track to be completed by or well before March 2009.
Progress on challenges

In late August, 2007, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour convened a meeting of the Gulf States Governors and key state, federal and private sector leaders to celebrate the Alliance’s success at establishing a “model regional collaboration.”  The Governors’ Action Plan, released in March 2006, set the stage for a longer-term regional partnership that could manage an expanded suite of issues. Building upon the extraordinary momentum created by the Action Plan’s implementation successes, the Governors have already begun to outline additional strategic challenges to help guide the 2nd generation of their Plan, due in March 2009:

Expanded Alliance partnerships (Domestic) - The Alliance will further establish and strengthen strategic relationships with supporting federal partners            and actively solicit direct involvement from non-governmental organizations and private industry to maximize opportunities to develop and execute regional collaborative actions.

Expanded Alliance partnerships (Bi-National)  -  The Alliance actively works to collaborate with the six Mexican Gulf States.  A critical focus for the Alliance in 2008 will be the further development and delivery of advanced technology and scientific training to better detect and forecast the movement of Harmful Algal Blooms (Red Tides) outbreaks Gulfwide using integrated satellite remote sensing technologies.  Mexico’s Public Health Department, the Federal Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risk (COFEPRIS) is serving as the Federal lead.  COFEPRIS is working in collaboration with the Mexican Gulf State of Veracruz to conduct the initial pilot of this technical collaboration beginning in 2008.  Veracruz Governor Fidel Herrera Beltrán plans to bring broad exposure to the success of this bi-national collaboration by hosting the second State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit in Veracruz in 2009.

Interagency partners:  13 Federal Partners:  EPA; DoC, CEQ, USDA, DOI, DoS, NSF, ACoE, NASA, DoE, DoT, DHHS; and, DoD;  5 State Partners:Florida Department of Environmental Protection;        Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality; Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; and, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Local partners: Gulf of Mexico Business & Industry Coalition, Gulf States Accord, Gulf-based National Estuary Programs – (7 within the Gulf Region), Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf of Mexico Program Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Harte Research Institute, Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership

Activity URL:    www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org

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