Governors' Action Plan II
Cover image of the Governors' Action Plan II Photo credit: Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan
The initial Governors’ Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts was released in 2006. The three-year Action Plan identified regionally significant issues that could be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at the local, state, and federal levels.
Under the leadership of the five Gulf States and the strong support by federal and non-governmental partners, strategies were developed to advance and coordinate the implementation of the specific activities identified in the 2006 Action Plan.
Building on successes of the first Action Plan, the Gulf States and their partners developed the Governors’ Action Plan II, a farther-reaching, five-year regional plan that looks to expand partnerships. The core goals of the 2006 Action Plan were to build partnerships and lay a foundation for a true regional approach. This Action Plan II sets a course for actions designed to improve the health of coastal ecosystems and economies of the Gulf in ways that a single entity could not achieve. It is a strategy for tangible results in the following priority areas.
- Water quality;
- Habitat conservation and restoration;
- Ecosystems Integration and Assessment;
- Nutrients and nutrient impacts;
- Coastal community resilience; and
- Environmental education
Actions identified in the Action Plan II collectively address four major challenges to healthy and resilient communities in the Gulf region.To see how the Alliance is addressing priority issues in the Gulf, go to Priority Issues or State by State.
(1) Sustaining Gulf Economy
The Gulf of Mexico region is a vital economic engine for the nation, supplying trillions of dollars annually to the U.S. economy and providing jobs for millions of people. If not properly balanced, a thriving Gulf Coast economy can present challenges to healthy ecosystems and their natural functions. The actions outlined in the chapters of this Action Plan II strike a balance between continued economic growth and healthy and sustainable coastal communities.
(2) Improving Ecosystem Health
Coastal and marine planners in the Gulf region are faced with a complex environment in which to make difficult decisions regarding protection, restoration, enhancement, and management of various coastal and natural resources. This Action Plan II provides a blueprint for resource managers to evaluate loss and function of vital coastal resources that are not only the indicators of ecological health, but are the cornerstone to the region’s economy.
(3) Mitigating the Impacts of and Adapting to Climate Changes
Climate changes and the associated predicted sea-level rise cause physical changes to the Gulf Coast that adversely impact communities, infrastructure, and natural resources. Being aware of the relative vulnerability of coastal areas to climate change-related effects will help communities consider the longer-term costs associated with protecting natural resources, as well as themselves, including the costs of elevating or relocating their infrastructure and people. The actions provided in this Action Plan II present methods for predicting ecological changes and enhancing both natural and built resources, thus creating more sustainable coastal communities.
(4) Mitigating Harmful Effects to Coastal Water Quality
From upland rivers to the Gulf of Mexico itself, water quality is inextricably linked to the economy of the Gulf Coast region and is influenced by a variety of factors, some of which are harmful to human health. Mitigation of these harmful effects is important to healthy ecosystems and sustainable communities. This Action Plan II provides methods for mitigating these and other harmful effects of degraded coastal water quality on human health.