Gulf of Mexico: Supporting Habitat Technology Training

Transocean and the Offshore Technology Conference Executive Committee (OTCEC) have pledged the initial lead gifts of $1.75 million and $200,000, respectively, to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation to build and establish the Gulf of Mexico Habitat Restoration Technology Training Center (HRTTC) in Galveston, Texas. The foundation also received a $1.163 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. These financial commitments kicked off a $7 million capital campaign, which includes the purchase of 1.819 acres of commercial property and an adjacent 15-acre wetland parcel, which will be the home of the new Gulf of Mexico HRTTC, expected to be completed by May 2013. The wetlands will be restored and used for education, training and as a community resource.

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation promotes and facilitates conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources through education, public awareness, restoration projects, research and leadership programs. The HRTTC will provide in-person and online habitat restoration training programs focused on a holistic, ecosystem-based approach. The HRTTC will function as a center for workforce development, technical assistance, education and outreach services serving the range of businesses, organizations, communities and governance entities which use and depend upon the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico. The training center’s programs and curriculum will be geared towards educators, students, program developers, business and industry professionals, and the community at large.

“Transocean partners with local communities and encourages volunteerism in all areas of our operations worldwide and we have been a long time supporter of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and its programs,” said Dr. Ian Hudson, the company’s Director, Field Human Resources, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. “Many of our people live and work in the Gulf region and we are very pleased to support the construction and development of a center where educators, the community and industry can partner to enhance sustainable models for Gulf restoration and further education efforts that embrace sound economic and environmental principles.”

“Galveston was selected for the HRTTC due to its coastal location and diversity of marine habitats,” said Dr. Quenton Dokken, President and CEO of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. “The HRTTC will be an important element in furthering Galveston as a hub of habitat restoration science and technology, communication outreach, and education for the entire Gulf of Mexico region.”

Visit www.gulfmex.org for more information.