The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) was established on October 1, 2006, after successfully competing for a NOAA Federal Funding Opportunity to integrate research and technology that effectively addressed the needs of the northern Gulf of Mexico region. The academic research institutions for the NGI were the Mississippi State University as lead, the University of Southern Mississippi, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory. The defined geographic focus for the northern Gulf was the upland, watershed, coastal zone, and coastal ocean areas from the Sabine River in Louisiana east to the Suwannee River in Florida.
In 2009, the NOAA Cooperative Institute Science Review Panel recognized the NGI for its significant efforts to address important questions related to the NOAA Strategic Goals. In 2010, the importance of the NGI was underscored in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident when its administrative structure, strategic location, and established relationships facilitated a rapid response to priority science needs, leveraging the NOAA investment in the NGI and the region.
After that initial five-year award, the NGI continued its work with a combination of awards from NOAA, government agencies, and other organizations – a funding pattern that continues to the present. Two significant NOAA awards each for five-year periods (starting October 1, 2016 and October 1, 2021) resulted from successful competitions for new NOAA Federal Funding Opportunities for a Cooperative Institute in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2016 award added an academic member to the NGI, the University of Alabama Huntsville, and extended the geographic focus to the entire Gulf of Mexico to include offshore-related issues.
See the Project Information Search Tool for research supported by the NGI.