Gulf of Mexico Alliance Receives NAS Capacity Building Grants

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) recently announced the recipients of 12 capacity-building grants, totaling almost $3.2 million. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is pleased to be a recipient of two of these awards. These competitive grants support community organizations as they conduct science-based projects designed to benefit their coastal communities from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine to Alaska.

The two Alliance projects together total $509,000 over the two-year funding period. The first goal is to build industry engagement to increase the participation and involvement of business and industry in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The intent is to provide benefits for all members due to the sharing of science-based knowledge, tools, and experience. The effort will involve all six of the Alliance Teams by increasing science-based knowledge exchange with businesses and industries that are most directly connected to the Gulf coast and associated coastal and marine environments. Teams intend to develop deeper engagement with specific industries to work through priority coastal issues together.  The enhanced relationships should result in better-applied actions identified in the Alliance’s Governors’ Action Plan III.

The second project, “Expanding coastal community capacity for climate change adaptation,” furthers work by the Alliance’s Coastal Resilience Team.”  The project will use a variety of different approaches to address challenges faced by coastal communities, focusing on training residents in coastal communities to participate in citizen science and environmental monitoring projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. Others will create and deliver educational programming, resources, and tools designed to help communities build resilience in the face of disasters, coastal flooding, and climate change.

“The Gulf Research Program is committed to investing in community-based organizations that have strong ties to the people they serve,” said Maggie Walser, director of education and capacity building. “One of the program’s priorities is supporting science that benefits coastal communities and helps them prepare for future health and environmental challenges. This broad suite of new projects aims to do just that – while also strengthening organizations that play a central role in connecting people with the services, resources, and science-based information they need.”

The capacity-building projects were selected after an external peer-review process. More information about the award recipients and their projects are found at http://www.national-academies.org/gulf/grants/funded-projects. These awards are part of the portfolio of Gulf Research Program funding opportunities outlined at http://www.national-academies.org/gulf/grants.

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