The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) utilizes cooperative agreements to partner with state agencies and public universities in the “affected States” as defined by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Through this mechanism, BOEM scientists actively engage with state agencies and/or universities to carry out environmental research that is needed by the state and the federal government to manage offshore energy activities.
Coastal Marine Institutes
BOEM’s Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) with Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks (UAF) are designed to respond to BOEM, state, and local information needs and interests with local expertise in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) relevant disciplines. A major focus of the CMI program is to use the interdisciplinary environment of a research university to foster process-oriented studies, needed technologies and concepts, and synthesis of information that will benefit environmental and resource management. The LSU CMI was established in 1992. Over $26 million in research agreements have been awarded by BOEM through the LSU CMI program. And, the UAF CMI has completed more than 60 studies with $15 million in research agreements since 1993. In addition to funding the research of scientists through the CMIs, more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students have been supported through these projects.
The BOEM Environmental Studies Program (ESP) joined the National Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) Council on June 14, 2005, and has since joined North & West Alaska CESU, Pacific Northwest CESU, Gulf Coast CESU, North Atlantic Coast, CESU, Piedmont - South Atlantic CESU, Californian CESU, and Hawaii-Pacific Island CESU. The CESU partnerships facilitate access to a wide range of expertise to address Federal agency needs and advance the scientific understanding of coastal and marine ecosystems.