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Meridian Institute

Facilitation for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance

Related: Oceans and Coasts

Between 2005 and 2008, Meridian Institute facilitated a series of meetings for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, a governor-led partnership of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The goal of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. To further the goal of the Alliance, Meridian provided facilitation and process design services for several important meetings.


In June 2005, Meridian helped convene and facilitate the initial meeting of the state and federal leads to launch the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. In August 2005, Meridian facilitated the Action Plan Development Workshop to bring together state and federal officials to develop the first Governors’ Action Plan. In March 2006, Meridian worked with the Harte Research Institute to help plan and facilitate the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit. In January 2008, Meridian facilitated a meeting of the federal agency workgroup leads to align agency commitments to support development of the second Governors’ Action Plan. And in August 2008, Meridian assisted with organizing the Gulf Governors’ Meeting at the Southern Governors’ Association Annual Meeting.

To date, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance has released two action plans. The first aimed to build partnerships and lay a foundation for a strong regional approach. The second sets a course for actions designed to improve the health of coastal ecosystems and economies of the Gulf. With each action plan, the Alliance advances six priority issues that are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at local, state, and federal levels, including: water quality; habitat conservation and restoration; ecosystem integration and assessment; nutrients and nutrient impacts; coastal community resilience; and environmental education. Participants in Alliance meetings include individuals from relevant state government departments from each of the five states as well as federal agency representatives from the 13 federal agencies that have committed to supporting the Alliance.

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