Data, Tools and Portals

Scientific understanding and information are central to achieving an integrated and transparent planning process. Natural and social sciences can inform decisions about how to achieve societal objectives from the Nation's ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters, both now and into the future, while maintaining ecosystem integrity. Built on this foundation of sound science, this new system for planning should facilitate maintenance of essential ecosystem services, encourage compatible uses, minimize conflicts, evaluate tradeoffs in an open and transparent manner, and include significant and meaningful stakeholder involvement.

Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) will rely on physical, biological, and human-use data to create a baseline understanding of the ocean and coastal environment and to plan for existing and future uses. In many ways, this process parallels the science-based decision-making framework embraced by BOEM for managing energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

BOEM-sponsored scientific research and data will be available to the Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) and other engaged stakeholders through, the National Ocean Council supported portal to provide Federal data for marine spatial planning. Additional information about BOEM studies and their products is available through the Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS). Selected spatial datasets will also be made available through the is the National Ocean Council's portal for data, information, and tools to support people engaged in planning for the future of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Our goal is to be a one-stop hub to support planners and to provide useful information to the public.

Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS)  

ESPIS makes all completed Environmental Studies Program (ESP) reports, including images and graphics, available online as full electronic PDF documents accessible using free Adobe Reader software. Technical summaries of over 700 BOEM-sponsored research projects, as well as full PDF documents of over 2,000 research reports are available for online full-text search. Currently, ESP is revamping ESPIS to enhance its search capabilities, to enable easier discovery of archived data, and to allow linkages with is an integrated marine information system that provides legal, physical, ecological, and cultural information in a common geographic information system (GIS) framework. This tool was created to comply with Section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but is also providing the geospatial framework needed for the broader Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) initiative. This tool is also extensively used by Federal agencies and others who are screening alternative energy sites, and by people working on regional and state marine spatial planning efforts.