The Weeks Bay Foundation, Inc. receives $270,566 to increase awareness and action on Gulf issues

Mississippi - This is a news release from the Stennis Space Center 

The U.S. EPAGulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Weeks Bay Foundation, Inc.(Weeks Bay) has received a $270,566 through a cooperative agreement for theproject "A Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training Initiative." This project will be directedunder the leadership of Michael Shelton, Coastal Training Program Coordinatorof Weeks Bay Foundation, Inc.

"TheGulf of Mexico Program is committed to supporting our partners in addressingour mutual goals of improving, protecting and restoring the health andproductivity of the Gulf of Mexico," said Ben Scaggs, Director of the U.S. EPAGulf of Mexico Program.  "We look forward to the sustainable environmentalresults that will be accomplished through this cooperative agreement with theWeeks Bay Foundation, Inc."

The Gulf ofMexico Coastal Training Initiative will offer targeted and technical assistanceto resource managers and decision-makers on the Gulf Coast. The training eventsand technical assistance will employ proven educational methodologies toincrease regional awareness and action on program priorities and strategicgoals identified by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program and the region's coastaldecision-makers. Weeks Bay will hold 15 workshops on the Gulf Coast, providetechnical assistance to five coastal communities over three years, as well asengage local communities and raise awareness of environmental issues Gulf-wide.

"The GulfNational Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) regional partnership is wellpositioned to address coastal resource management issues that have impacts on aregional level through locally based training and technical assistance," saidShelton. "The primary outcome of the NERRs and GMP initiative is improveddecision-making in the management of coastal resources."

Thiscooperative agreement will further the strategic goals and objectives of Gulfof Mexico Program and lead to a healthy and prosperous ecosystem.

For moreinformation about the Gulf of Mexico Program, please call 228-688-3726 or visitour web site at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo.

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