Because the GRP is still a relatively new entity, we strive to raise awareness of our work and that of the Academies and to reach out to new stakeholders and potential collaborators both in the Gulf region and beyond. In 2015, GRP staff and advisory board members participated in a wide variety of meetings relevant to oil system safety, human health and well-being, and environmental protection. We met with a broad array of individuals at meetings and conferences. Our online audience of subscribers grew by nearly one-third.
The GRP is one of many organizations born of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and one of several more with a shared commitment to fostering science that brings significant and lasting benefits to the Gulf region and the nation. To reduce duplication of efforts and to identify areas for collaboration, the GRP interacts frequently with many of these programs and groups. For example, the GRP:
- Participates in the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Funders Ad Hoc Group, which includes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, NOAA, North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the RESTORE Council, and RESTORE Act state Centers of Excellence, and coordinates with relevant federal agencies, such as BOEM, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR).
- Coordinates with 20 liaisons from 12 federal agencies and programs (i.e., BOEM, BSEE, ICCOPR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NOAA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and the RESTORE Council) to share information and coordinate activities on issues of shared interest.
- Provides support for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, including sponsorship of sessions designed for helping students improve their ability to communicate about their scientific research.
- Serves as co-sponsor for a BOEM workshop, “U.S.–Mexico Workshop to Coordinate Future Environmental Studies Related to Ocean Energy Management in the Gulf of Mexico” planned for 2017.
- Initiated a collaborative project with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a 2016 funding opportunity focused on enhancing community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region to the negative impacts of climate change, severe weather, and disasters in ways that also improve health and well-being.