Partnering with the Smithsonian Institution


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Smithsonian Institution have maintained a long and productive relationship that has proven to be greatly beneficial for both agencies.  BOEM has a long-term commitment for the archiving of invertebrate animal collections with the National Museum of Natural History from nationwide studies conducted by BOEM.  This program, initiated in 1979, has been exemplary for the preservation of invaluable federally-funded scientific collections and has resulted in the identification of more than 400 species new to science.   This ongoing partnership was created to ensure the long-term preservation, care and accessibility of the invertebrate collections BOEM developed during the course of its management of United States coastal resources on behalf of the American people.  This collection is available to scientists worldwide for study at the Smithsonian.  BOEM and the Smithsonian Institution continue to foster communication and cooperation and look to increase interagency collaboration.



USNM Panama Oil Spill Recovery Study

From 1987-1991, BOEM and the Smithsonian Institution collaborated in an oil spill recovery study in Panama. BOEM funded the study and used the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s pre-spill, long-term environmental and biological studies of the areas affected by the 1986 Bahía Las Minas oil spill. This was an unprecedented opportunity to study the fate of spilled oil and its biological effects in tropical Atlantic coastal environments. The study’s objectives were to monitor the long-term changes that may occur in the distribution and abundance of marine organisms as a result of the 1986 oil spill at Bahía Las Minas and to understand the ecological processes causing any observed changes.