Voices of the Gulf

 

Gulf of Mexico

Restoring the Gulf and Creating Jobs: GulfCorps launches in Gulf of Mexico

With the help of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) award of $7 million, and the collaboration of critical partners at The Corps Network (TCN) and the Student Conservation Association (SCA), The Nature Conservancy is launching a new Gulf restoration project that aims to create 300 jobs over 3 years along the Gulf of Mexico.

View the press release.

The project, GulfCorps, will protect and restore critical habitat along the Gulf while creating jobs through Conservations Corps. These Corps are teams of young adults who do hands-on work to restore natural features and natural habitat on conservation lands. We are grateful to the RESTORE Council and to NOAA for the opportunity to work with local corps organizations and young adults across the Gulf region on restoring the wetlands, forests rivers, and beaches that contribute to the health of the Gulf of Mexico.

GulfCorps will launch in late 2017 with one crew in each of the five states beginning in 2018. By the program’s third year there will be three crews in each state, making up a total of 15 GulfCorps crews.

Through this project, The Nature Conservancy and our partners will:

  • Work closely with existing local corps organizations in each state to recruit young adults who are anxious to learn new skillsand who are willing to work hard on Gulf restoration. (Local organizations will operate the corps on a day to day basis)
  • Provide the support and capacity to help the local organizations train new members and team leaders in specific restoration skills needed to make meaningful contributions to restoring the Gulf.
  • Work with stakeholders to select restoration projects that address impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and that compliment and are consistent with the RESTORE Act’s Comprehensive Plan.
  • Monitor progress over the three years of the program to make certain that the corps work is producing the desired results.

The project will be distributed equally in all five Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) and will support existing local Corps organizations who will hire teams of local young adults to conduct restoration and conservation activities such as planting native vegetation, removing invasive species, and restoring banks and shorelines. The crewmembers and crewleaders will become thoroughly trained and experienced, providing them with marketable skills in the restoration economy taking shape in the Gulf of Mexico.

Conservation corps have been used to accomplish conservation objectives around the country since 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps. Until recently, conservation corps have not been widely used across the Gulf of Mexico, even though communities living along the Gulf stand to gain the most—both economically and environmentally—from the conservation corps model.

This project was made possible through funding received from the NOAA Restoration Center and RESTORE Act.

For additional information, please contact GulfCorps Program Director Jeff DeQuattro: JDequattro@tnc.org.

 
 
 
 
 

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