GoMAMN Newsletter #2


GoMAMN Newsletter: Issue 2

Greetings from the GoMAMN Coordination Committee! This is the second issue of the GoMAMN newsletter, which is distributed on a quarterly basis. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information about the Network and ongoing monitoring projects, along with news and opportunities relevant to our work as we collectively strive to advance bird conservation along the Gulf of Mexico.


Team Member Spotlight: Auriel Fournier

Auriel is the GoMAMN Postdoc/Conference Call Organizer/Google Docs Manager; more specifically, she is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Mississippi State University, based out of the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, MS. Auriel works on the structured decision making that is the foundation of GoMAMN. She is currently helping to coordinate the strategic monitoring plan chapters, building and publishing the portfolio decision support tool, and presenting GoMAMN’s work at conferences.

In this interview, Auriel provided us with details on her background, her research interests, and her perspective on the future of avian monitoring in the Gulf. We also learned that Black Rails are too scared to reveal themselves to Auriel, and that Auriel once raised and trained goats.

Read the full interview here.


Monitoring Project Highlight: Recovering Florida’s Shorebirds and Seabirds

by Janell Brush

Florida has over 1,300 linear miles of ocean coastline, with over 8,400 miles of coastal habitat that could be used by shorebirds and seabirds (hereafter shorebirds). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working with its key partner, Audubon Florida, to recover shorebird populations using five conservation strategies: reduce human disturbance, manage habitat, manage predation, inform management & track outcomes, and improve regulatory coordination. Monitoring surveys are crucial for measuring the effectiveness of management and conservation efforts and evaluating progress toward achieving population recovery for focal species. This project expands upon foundational shorebird conservation work previously funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), and others by inaugurating a dedicated shorebird and seabird program (Shorebird Program) for the State of Florida.  Given the baseline infrastructure that Florida had in place, this grant provides the resources needed to evaluate and refine our ability to detect population changes in species of conservation concern; the ability to measure the effectiveness of restoration, management, and conservation actions; and the ability to understand the ecological processes that affect shorebird populations.

Read more here.


Paper Highlight: Selecting indicators to monitor outcomes across projects and multiple restoration programs in the Gulf of Mexico

by Alexis Baldera, David Hanson, and Bethany Kraft

Tracking the incremental and combined effects of large-scale ecosystem restoration programs is scientifically and socioeconomically challenging; this is especially true for ongoing management and restoration programs in the northern Gulf of Mexico and adjacent areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. We recommend the large-scale restoration programs in the Gulf (i.e., Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation) adopt a suite of shared indicators to collectively track restoration progress. In our paper we identified a suite of 10 performance metrics, or indicators, that are highly applicable across restoration categories at both the project and system level. Utilizing a small set of indicators that can be measured across multiple resource and project types creates an opportunity to build a core set of metrics into individual project monitoring plans in a way that is cost-effective, efficient, and consistent. Our approach represents one way to track the impacts of restoration activities at a scale larger than the project level in the Gulf, while recognizing the scientific, political, and economic challenges associated with restoring the Gulf ecosystem in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Read the full paper here.



The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund published their 5 Year in Review Report of awards made to benefit wildlife, habitats, and coastal communities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has initiated drafting of its first and second post settlement draft restoration plans to address natural resource injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Restoration Plan 1 (summer 2018) will address birds and sturgeon, and Restoration Plan 2 (late 2018) will address sea turtles, marine mammals, fish and water column invertebrates, and mesophotic and deep benthic communities.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released the Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Elmer’s Island Access Project Modification. This Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan was prepared by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group to assess the environmental impacts from the modification of a proposed project that was included in the “Draft Restoration Plan/ Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities 1” (Draft RP/EA #2). The public comment period runs from May 21, 2018, through June 20, 2018.


RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program GOMA Monitoring Community of Practice Kick-Off Workshop
June 11, 2018 in St. Petersburg, FL

Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting
June 11-15, 2018 in St. Petersburg, FL

Ecological Society of America Meeting
August 5-10 in New Orleans, LA

National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration
August 26-30, 2018 in New Orleans, LA

Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation Conference
September 12-14 in New Orleans, LA

72nd Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, AL

9th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management
December 8-13, 2018 in Long Beach, CA


NOAA RESTORE Science 2019 Federal Funding Opportunity is out!
This competition is looking to fund ~6 projects for 5 years with a possible 5 year renewal. Projects should be focused on trends in living coastal and marine resources with an emphasis on interactions among multiple species, impacts of weather events or climate, and/or economic activity

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Call for Proposals
NAWCA grants increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies and American traditions such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, family farming, and cattle ranching. The application deadline is July 13, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to contact the coordinator of the joint venture region in which your project is located early in the process for guidance on developing your project and proposal.

The Strategic Conservation Assessment of Gulf Landscapes (a RESTORE bucket 2 funded project) Team is hiring.
The SCA team is designing and launching Gulf-wide land conservation decision support tools and the position they are hiring for, Conservation Applications Specialist, will be their user support lead. This is a 2 year, full time position. The Conservation Applications Specialist may be hired as Mississippi State University staff or on contract and the work can be accomplished from anywhere across the northern gulf coast region (TX, LA, MS, AL, FL), with frequent travel Gulf-wide.


Did you know?

A flock of Clapper Rails is called an Applause

The Brown-Headed Nuthatch has been documented to use tools


For more information contact Randy WilsonKate Spear, or David Reeves