Environmental Studies Section (ESS)

section of nautilus shellOcean Science Coversunset with ocean wave

As part of BOEM's national environmental program, the GOM OCS Region manages scientific studies that help us better understand the marine and coastal environment and the potential effects of our activities on this environment.

About $16 million is spent annually in the GOM OCS Region to fund research in biology, ecology, marine archaeology, physical oceanography, protected species and socioeconomics.

Each Region’s Environmental Studies Section has an Environmental Studies Program, initiated in 1973, to gather and synthesize environmental, social and economic information to support decision-making.

The Environmental Studies Section:

  • plans, implements and manages BOEM's Environmental Studies Program for the GOM OCS Region and Atlantic planning area,
  • develops information for assessment and management of impacts to marine and coastal environments that may be affected by OCS activities,
  • develops study designs and contract specifications; participates in evaluation of proposals and conducts contract negotiations,
  • monitors contract progress and performance and reviews deliverable products
  • studies reports, maps, digital data and photographic or video products from these contracted environmental, social or economic studies are available to the public both from BOEM and from the National Technical Information Service and occasionally from other sources,
  • develops the annual Studies Development Plan, which forecasts information needs and proposes studies to meet those needs,
  • plans and conducts the bi-annual Information Transfer Meeting and other special-purpose workshops and
  • advises management on environmental issues and on methods of environmental study, analysis or regulation; especially in the areas of air quality or atmospheric sciences, physical oceanography, coastal and marine biology, fisheries biology, and protected and endangered species.

In the GOM OCS Region, the Environmental Studies Program includes:

National Program

BOEM supports an extensive program of scientific studies. At the national level, the Office of Environmental Programs policy guidance and program direction and oversight for the Environmental Studies Program and the Oil Spill Modeling Program. It also provides national level coordination with research managers in the Department of the Interior, other Federal agencies and coordinating committees, and non-Federal research organizations.

You can learn more about activities of the GOM Environmental Studies Program, and view or download studies, papers and publications, by using the links below.

Topics of Interest:


Pat Roscigno, PhD—Section Chief

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
GOM OCS Region
Office of the Environment
1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70123