“State of the Gulf of Mexico” Summit to Focus on Restoration of Vital National Resource

March 03, 2014

Gulf Summit 2014

Houston, Texas—Restoration is the focus of the third “State of the Gulf of Mexico” summit to be held in Houston, in March, by the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“The Gulf of Mexico is our nation’s most vital marine resource and the ninth largest body of water in the world,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, Director of HRI. “This summit will bring together Gulf state leaders in government, industry, science, and non-governmental organizations to assess the current condition of the Gulf and to build sound strategies for its future.”

A report from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance shows that the five U.S. states that border the Gulf have a gross domestic product of over $2 trillion. Much of that economic activity is dependent on or related to the Gulf of Mexico and the health of its coastal natural resources. Just a few examples include:

  • Tourism and recreation provide over 620,000 jobs
  • 27 percent of domestic crude oil production comes from the Gulf region
  • The major commercial fishing ports of the Gulf region bring in over 1.2 billion pounds of fresh seafood every year
  • 6 of the top 10 leading shipping ports in the country are found in the Gulf region.

 

Previous “State of the Gulf of Mexico” summits examined lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the importance of supporting sustainable economic growth in the Gulf. This year, the four-day summit has five main objectives:

  • Connecting science and restoration efforts to inform decision-making and identify gaps
  • Advancing restoration that contributes to the broader Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
  • Linking state, federal and non-governmental organization restoration strategies
  • Assuring Gulf restoration and national ocean policy work together
  • Defining a clear, positive role for business and industry in the restoration process.

 

 “There are many factors and stakeholders involved in sustainable, science-based restoration efforts,” said McKinney. “HRI will lead the discussion on what we have learned from our research along with what we still need to discover, and what we can do to form a cohesive plan to successfully restore the Gulf of Mexico.”

The “State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit” is March 24-27 at the Omni Galleria Houston Hotel. For more information, click here.