GOMESA: What is it; and will it save the LWCF State Assistance Program?

Recorded On: 07/25/2017


This 2006 law is about to have a major impact on annual funding for the LWCF State Assistance program. Learn what GOMESA is, how it came to be and exactly what effect this law is expected to have in providing robust and dependable annual funding to State Assistance. Also, the effort to ensure these funds are protected and used for the purposes intended under the law. Also the opportunities it presents to revitalize parks and outdoor recreation in underserved urban communities.  

A portion of the Gulf of Mexico energy lease and development fees generated under this law provide mandatory funding to LWCF State Assistance.  Beginning in 2017, these fees increase significantly with State Assistance slated to receive as much as $125 million annually. Even more, these funds are mandatory (guaranteed) and not subject to annual discretionary appropriation by Congress.   

NRPA and guest policy experts from federal agencies will explain:

  • What GOMESA is and how it came to be?
  • The impact this law is expected to have on funding for LWCF State Assistance grants.
  • The latest government projections and estimates on annual funding for State Assistance – the How Much?
  • The difference between “mandatory” and “discretionary” federal funding and why it matters?   
  • What it means for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) competitive grant program.
  • Potential political pitfalls and challenges to protecting these funds for their intended purpose. The role this can play in the ongoing effort to see LWCF permanently authorized and fully funded each year.    

David Tyahla (Moderator)

Senior Government Affairs Manager, National Recreation and Park Association


Tom Farndon

Chief, Economics Division – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Tom has been employed as a petroleum engineer with BOEM and its predecessor agencies for over 30 years and currently serves as the Economics Division Chief.  He has specialized in solving implementation challenges involving complex economic programs such as royalty relief, coastal impact assistance, and GOMESA.

Joel Lynch

Chief of State and Local Assistance Programs - National Park Service

Joel Lynch has worked for the National Park Service for over 15 years and currently serves as Chief of State and Local Assistance Programs Division. In this role he administers the Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance Program, and others programs that support the creation and protection of close to home recreation opportunities in communities across the United States. Prior to his federal career, Joel taught and conducted research at Michigan State University. Joel holds a Ph.D. in recreation resource management.

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