Young beachcombers at Bowman's Beach, Sanibel Island, FL. Photo credit: NOAA
Due to recent events in the Gulf, the Alliance has expanded its focus to include the following initiatives:
- Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative - a regional research program funded by BP dedicated to developing necessary research related to specific oil-related themes
- Marine Planning - a regional approach to coordinating spatial uses of the Gulf
- Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force - the committee established by President Obama in 2010 as a response to the BP Oil spill
As part of the Governors' Action Plans, the Alliance identified six priority issues that are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at the local, state and federal levels. These priorities represent an initial focus for action through the Alliance:
- Water Quality: to help ensure healthy beaches and safe seafood in our coastal areas
- Habitat Conservation and Restoration: advance conservation and restoration of coastal habitats and ecosystems throughout the Gulf and associated watersheds
- Ecosystem Integration and Assessment: improve accessibility and awareness of the extensive data available throughout the Gulf region
- Nutrients & Nutrient Impacts: to make communities more resilient in order to sustain and grow the regionís economic prosperity
- Coastal Community Resilience
- Environmental Education: to provide educational programs to improve the nationís understanding and appreciation of the Gulf and its abundant natural and living resources.
Each priority identifies long term goals for the region and a number of actions to achieve those goals and will address challenges facing the Gulf.