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TORC Spotlight

Strategy for Restoring the Gulf of Mexico
Recommendations to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force

Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration strategy prepared by a number of NGOs and HRI. It was submitted to John Hankinson, leader of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.
( posted: July 2011 )

"This document presents a strategy that maps the road to recovery for a healthy and resilient Gulf of Mexico.* This Strategy identifies four priorities for protection and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico with goals and outcomes supporting each priority. Several supporting activities are also identified that will create enabling conditions for a successful restoration program. These priorities and activities are intended to contribute to the protection and restoration of the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, while addressing the more systemic problems that are the result of decades of environmental decline. This Strategy integrates the vast knowledge of the numerous institutions and individuals that have been conserving and restoring the Gulf for more than 40 years."

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Conference: Research From the Four University Consortium
Hosted by Louisiana State University
Featuring Research from Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Tulane University, University of New Orleans and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

April 29, 2011
8:30am - 3:00pm
Faculty Club, Highland Road, LSU Campus

Stucture of the Conference and Call for Submissions:
Louisiana State University is pleased to host a workshop/conference featuring research on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill from the Four University Consortium and LUMCON. This conference is slated for Friday April 29th.
On Friday April 29th at the Faculty Club on the LSU campus, consecutive sessions will run from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The sessions will be organized around the following oil spill related topics: Water Column/ zooplankton/food chain issues; Fate and Transport; Benthic Communities;  Hypoxia; Wetlands; Socioeconomic Impacts; Human Health; Engineering issues/solutions; Food Safety; Microbial ecology; Modeling issues; other issues. Each session will feature a 20 to 25 minute summary of available research findings and emphasize important directions for future research. These will not be standard scientific conference style presentations, but rather summary discussions based on research generated to date with a strong focus on what has been learned and what new research questions this knowledge has generated. The panelists for this portion of the conference will be recruited by the conference program committee. For those interested in participating in this part of the conference activities, please contact Richard Shaw ( or Matthew Lee (

In addition, an extensive poster session will run concurrently to present the findings from individual research projects. All submissions for this conference will be poster presentations. Small scale breakout and informal meeting areas will be available throughout the day to accommodate groups interested in establishing new dialogue based on the summary discussions and the poster presentations.   


This conference is open to researchers from LSU, ULL, Tulane, UNO, and LUMCON. In the event that poster submissions exceed available space, the program committee will judge submissions for inclusion in the final program.
Registration and Submission Instructions:
There is no charge for this conference.
The registration website is available at:
Registration is required and will close April 11th at 4:30 pm CDT.
If there are multiple authors on a submission and several plan to attend, each author should register separately.

Poster Dimensions:
Posters should be no larger than 3 feet by 4 feet, or 36 X 48 inches.

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting

Date: Monday, February 28, 2011
8:00am - 8:00pm
Location: New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA

On October 5, 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13554 directing the creation of a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

The Task Force was formed to build on the ongoing spill response and natural resource damage assessment effort, as well as achieve overall recovery for the gulf, and is comprised of federal and state leaders and informed by stakeholders in the region. President Obama appointed EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, a New Orleans native, chair of the Task Force.

As a first order of business, the Task Force is charged with developing a Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy within one year. In coordination with the natural resource damages assessment, the Strategy will drive restoration efforts under existing authorities, identify new policies and authorities needed, and provide the basis for allocating new and future funding. To help shape the Strategy, Task Force members will hold multiple public meetings to seek the wisdom and ideas of the Gulf community. The first meeting was held in Pensacola, Fla. on November 8, 2010.

In addition to developing the Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, the Task Force is responsible for:

  • Ensuring full coordination of ecosystem restoration efforts;
  • Establishing science and accountability as the basis for decision-making; and
  • Engaging Gulf Coast communities in the setting of priorities.

Community Forum: "Community Partnerships to Solve Environmental Problems"

Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine invite you to a community forum to discuss environmental health issues. The forum “ Community partnerships to Solve Environmental Problems”  will feature Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director NIEHS, local leaders and our community in a stimulating  dialogue about environmental issues facing us today.
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Ba Mien Reception Hall; 13235 Chef Menteur Highway

Light refreshments will be served. RSVP encouraged at

Forum: Health Effects of Gulf Oil Disaster

Principle Speaker - Dr. Wilma Subra, Louisiana Environmentalist. Interviewed recently in the award winning documentary "Gasland". Will report on recent tests results on the Gulf Coast.

Date: Saturday, February 5th, 2011
3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m
First Unitarian Church, 5212 S. Claiborne, New Orleans, LA 70115

For more info contact 504-644-7214, The Emergency Committee to Stop the Gulf Oil Disaster,

In independent testing, residents of the Gulf Coast are testing positive for chemicals associated with the Gulf Oil Disaster. In independent testing, seafood is showing high levels of those same chemicals. What does this mean for all of us?

Forum participants

Cherri Foytlin - Co-founder, Gulf Change, based in Grand Isle, Louisiana
Denise Rednaur - Resident, Longbeach, Mississippi
C.J. Trosclair - Unemployed Shrimper, Louisiana resident
Robin Young - Guardians of the Gulf, Orange Beach, Alabama

Discussion to follow, audience participation.

Managing the Unexpected

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute invites you to a conversation with Admiral Thad Allen, Senior RAND Fellow, Retired Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Incident Commander for the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, December 2, 2010
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 938 Lafayette Street, 1st Floor, New Orleans, LA 70113

RSVP to Stacy Fitzsimmons at by November 30, 2010

Admiral Thad Allen will discuss his experiences leading the nation's high-profile response to two national emergencies—Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill—and the lessons learned about how to respond more effectively to disaster.

About the Speaker
Admiral Thad Allen was selected by President Barack Obama in May 2010 to serve as the National Incident Commander for the unified response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen was charged with oversight of all response efforts to stop the flow of oil and mitigate the effects of the worst oil disaster in U.S. history. He worked closely with the federal on-scene coordinator, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, Commerce, and Health and Human Services. Allen was also in charge of coordinating with various state and local entities, as well as directing the efforts of British Petroleum, the responsible party in the spill.
Register for This Event
There is no charge to attend, but space is limited. RSVP to Stacy Fitzsimmons at by November 30, 2010.
About the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute
RAND created the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute in 2005 to support hurricane recovery and long-term economic development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Today, RAND Gulf States provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. With offices in New Orleans, Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi, the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute is dedicated to answering some of the region's toughest questions related to a wide range of issues including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and workforce development. Learn more about RAND Gulf States at
About RAND
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND focuses on the issues that matter most such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. With a research staff consisting of some of the world's preeminent minds, RAND has been expanding the boundaries of human knowledge for more than 60 years. Visit us online at

Collaborative Scientific Research Opportunities Relative to the Gulf Oil Spill

Sponsored by National Science Foundation and Louisiana Board of Regents in collaboration with Mississippi and Alabama

November 1 and 2, 2010
New Orleans Marriott at the Conference Center, 859 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA

Featuring discussion of collaborative research opportunities covering the following topics:
• Engineering Aspects and the Transport and Fate of Spilled Oil
• Coastal and Ocean Environments: Damage, Remediation and Recovery
• Human Communities: Disaster Management, Sustainability and Health
• Economics, Policy and Decision Support Systems

For more information and to register, go to
Conference proceedings are now available at:

The BP Oil Spill Lecture Series

Tulane Law School
Fall, 2010

The purpose of this series is to provide background on technical, scientific and policy aspects of the BP blowout, including deep water drilling; the blowout; the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem; oil, water and cleanup; containment responses; biological impacts; community impacts; legal issues; and policy implications beyond BP.

The schedule, subject to necessary changes, is as follows:

August 30 A Litigator's Glimpse at the Horizon and Class Orientation
September 7 Blowout: What Happened and What Went Wrong
September 13 The Gulf Ecosystem: Diversity and Threats
September 20 Oil on Water
September 24 Legal Aspects – Maritime, Environmental and Civil law
September 27 Responses: Cleanup and Barriers
October 11 Impacts and Evaluation
October 18 Panel Discussion: Beyond BP

Forums on Offshore Drilling
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
Director Michael R. Bromwich

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Doors open at 8 A.M., event begins at 9 A.M.
Place: Tulane University, McAlister Auditoriu, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, La. 70118

Director Bromwich to Kick off Forum Series to Discuss Deepwater Drilling Safety, Containment and Spill Response
Experts from Academia, Industry and Environmental Organizations Will Provide Testimony

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) recently announced that Director Michael R. Bromwich will kick off a series of fact-finding forums in New Orleans, La. on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.  The forums are designed to collect information and views about deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment, and oil spill response, which Director Bromwich will consider in evaluating whether to recommend any modifications to the scope or duration of the deepwater drilling suspensions announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 12, 2010.
During these forums, Director Bromwich will be briefed by panels of experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry on technical issues related to deepwater drilling and workplace safety, well containment, and oil spill response.  The forums also will provide an opportunity for input from federal, state and local leaders on these same issues. The forums will be open to the public.  Members of the public will be encouraged to submit comment via forms provided at the forums, by mail or online. Additional forums will be held in August in the following cities: Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., Santa Barbara, Calif. and Anchorage, Alaska. Meetings will be held in early September in the following cities: Biloxi, Miss., Houston, Texas and Lafayette, La.

 All media will be required to provide government-issued identification and press credentials at the registration area.  Members of the media may begin arriving at 8 A.M., all cameras must be pre-set no later than 8:30 A.M.

REACH NOLA Behavioral Health Community Conference Invite & Agenda

Thursday, July 15, 2010
8:00am - 4:30pm
Tulane University School of Medicine, 1555 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA

Local and regional policymakers, community and academic leaders, healthcare providers, and participants will share strategies and recommendations for promoting post-disaster mental health recovery. All participants will attend breakout sessions focused on: Developing strategies for responding to the mental health needs of oil spill affected populations; Conducting mental health outreach; or Delivering evidence-based therapy.