Gulf of Mexico Takes Center Stage at the State of the Gulf of Mexico SUMMIT2011, Hosted by Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies


Source: PRWeb

Corpus Christi, TX (PRWEB) November 04, 2011 -- During December 4 – 8, 2011, at the Omni Galleria in Houston, Texas, hundreds of experts and leaders from academic institutions, government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector will come together at the 2nd State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit (SGM SUMMIT2011).

Unprecedented cooperation has established the groundwork for this diverse conference. Leaders have contributed their time and resources in preparation for this high-level event. 'Bringing these experts together to focus attention on the Gulf of Mexico creates a level of synergy that is critical to developing solutions. We all understand the importance of an economically and environmentally sustainable Gulf of Mexico,' said Dr. Larry McKinney, Harte Research Institute's Executive Director. 'At SGM SUMMIT2011, our goal is to devise a plan to make sure we get there.”

A unique feature of the SGM SUMMIT2011 is an emphasis on developing an effective “report card” that can be used by resource managers and decision makers in science and business to understand the impacts of our activity. 'A credible report card focuses public attention and generates support for actions essential to assuring a healthy and productive Gulf,' said McKinney. 'This Report Card directly benefits industry's need for objective ocean data and helps establish the baseline for ongoing review and trend assessment.'

A yearlong series of stepping stone meetings and workshops has preceded the SGM SUMMIT2011 -- some in direct support of the Summit and some contributing to it. The Nature Conservancy led a coalition of conservation groups which included the Ocean Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation, among others, to develop a common restoration strategy for the Gulf. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) led a similar international effort in Mexico.

A newly formed organization, The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC), comprised of 66 members from the leading marine research organizations in the Gulf of Mexico, will roll out a plan at the summit to assure that management and restoration goals are built on the best available science foundation. And, the Gulf Alliance, whose initial work started at the first summit, will bring together state and federal resource managers and leaders at the summit to enhance its role the one of the leading regional governance frameworks in the nation.

Through the work of the Harte Research Institute and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, leading business and industries from oil and gas to tourism and agriculture have joined in supporting the SGM SUMMIT2011. As the 2010 oil spill dramatically emphasized, we must interact with the Gulf of Mexico as partners. Assuring a healthy Gulf is important for enjoyable recreation, profitable commerce, and a sustainable environment.

“The world’s oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico in particular, need all of our best efforts to assure their future,” stated Dr. Sylvia Earle, renown oceanographer and Chair of the HRI Advisory committee. “This valuable resource faces many challenges and the SGM SUMMIT2011 brings focus on how we can meet them.”

Facilitating these relationships is at the center of The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies' mission. Located at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, this unique institute was endowed by Ed Harte, with a challenge to make a difference in the Gulf of Mexico. SGM SUMMIT2011 offers an unprecedented opportunity to interact with those who know the Gulf of Mexico best.

The four day SGM SUMMIT2011 agenda will cover a broad range of important issues focusing on vision, science, commerce, and cooperation. During the summit, leaders of the 'President’s Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force” will head a panel to discuss the status and implementation strategies in the Restoration Plan; the conservation and expansion of marine protected areas will be explored; and, CEOs from organizations representing key stakeholders in the Gulf will participate in an evening panel to share their thoughts.

Sponsors of the SGM SUMMIT2011 include: Friends of HRI, The Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Shell, IUCN, The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, BP, GOMURC, National Wildlife Federation, NOAA, USGS, Ocean Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Port of Corpus Christi, and Mote Marine Lab.

The initial SGM Summit, held in 2006, brought together world-renowned scientists with leaders of government, business and industry, conservation, and resource management to plan for the long-term sustainable quality of life in the Gulf. SGM SUMMIT2011 will build on that work to facilitate sound strategies essential to the prosperity of the United States, Mexico and Cuba.

For information on the upcoming “State of the Gulf of Mexico” Summit, visit our website

The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, located on the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi campus, was founded in 2000 with a $46 million grant from Mr. Ed Harte. Its mission is to support and advance the long-term health of the Gulf of Mexico both economically and ecologically.


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