The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources Team Update

Author(s): Caviness-Reardon, K.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) was established in 2004 by the Gulf State Governors in response to the President’s Ocean Action Plan. It is a State-led network of partners working together on projects related to the priority issues identified by the Governors of the five Gulf States. GOMA is a partnership of the five U.S. Gulf States, federal agencies, academic organizations, businesses, and other non-profits in the region. GOMA’s mission is to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. In 2014, after careful consideration and evaluation, the GOMA Alliance Management Team elected to modify the priorities supported by the GOMA partnership. Important to note is that none of the existing focus areas were eliminated, but were redistributed within the new team structure. One of the new teams to emerge from GOMA’s restructure is the Water Resources Team, a combination of the former Nutrients and Water Quality Teams. The GOMA Water Resources Team is led by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and will focus its efforts within three areas: (1) protection of human health, (2) protection of aquatic health, and (3) protection of economic health. The team will be focusing on various water resources issues across the Gulf including but not limited to hypoxia, nutrient pollution, pathogens, harmful algal blooms, freshwater inflows, and ultimately, working to increase understanding regarding how impacts to human health and aquatic health tie in directly to the economic health of the region. GOMA is currently developing Governors’ Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts, the third in a series of action plans to address issues common to all five Gulf States in a voluntary and cooperative way.

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