National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended ( 16 U.S.C. 470-470t ) requires the head of any Federal agency, having direct or indirect jurisdiction over a proposed Federal or federally assisted undertaking in any State and the head of any Federal department or independent agency having authority to license any undertaking shall, prior to the approval of the expenditure of any Federal funds on the undertaking or prior to the issuance of any license, as the case may be, take into account the effect of the undertaking on any district, site, building, structure, or object that is included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register.

The historic properties (i.e. archaeological resources) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) include historic shipwrecks, sunken aircraft, lighthouses, and prehistoric archaeological sites that have become inundated due to the 120-meter rise in global sea level since the height of the last ice age (ca. 19,000 years ago). As the OCS is not federally-owned land, and as the Federal government has not claimed direct ownership of historic properties on the OCS, BOEM only has the authority under Section 106 of the NHPA to ensure that our funded and permitted actions do not adversely affect significant historic properties. Beyond avoidance of adverse impacts, we do not have the legal authority to manage the historic properties on the OCS.