A partnership has been instituted through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) among the Gulf States to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. Established under the GOMA, the Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team (HCRT) recognized that sediments are integral to and a critical resource in accomplishing the GOMA conservation and restoration objectives. As a result, the Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan (GRSMMP) was initiated for managing sediment resources and corroborates the need for an understanding of regional sediment processes. The plan provides guidelines using the understanding of sediment dynamics to manage resources toward accomplishing environmental restoration, conservation, and preservation while enhancing abilities to make informed, management decisions. A key step in this process is the recognition of a technical framework that provides a foundation associated with regional sediment management processes essential for establishing management guidelines that balance sediment dynamics and available sediment resources with needs and that enhance abilities to make informed management decisions and develop regional strategies. Issues surrounding sediment management, both natural and dredged sediments, have a considerable impact on the ability to sustain coastal habitats. Sediment management must occur on a regional scale unencumbered by agency, state, or political boundaries. Guidelines and recommendations from this effort will aid the Gulf States in more effective management of sediment resources, recognizing they are a part of a regional system involving natural and man-made processes. The effort involves a range of state and federal agencies, as well as nongovernmental representatives. Thus, a technical framework for the GRSMMP was compiled/completed and submitted to the HCRT/GOMA. The decision was made to publish this document as peer-reviewed papers in a special issue of the Journal of Coastal Research for benefit of the global scientific community. In return, feedback in terms of review and comments will be beneficial for the team.

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