Managing Multiple Uses in the Gulf of Mexico

Coastal restoration, beach nourishment, and levee reconstruction are crucial to mitigate future coastal erosion, land loss, flooding, and storm damage in the Gulf of Mexico. The success of that long-term effort depends on locating and securing significant quantities of OCS sediment resources that are compatible with the target environments being restored. Offshore sand resources, like upland sources, are extremely scarce where most needed. Additionally, vast areas of these relatively small offshore sand resources are not extractable because of the presence of oil and gas infrastructure, archaeologically sensitive areas, and biologically sensitive areas. Since the use of OCS sediment resources is authorized by BOEM through its Marine Mineral Program, the Bureau is implementing several measures to help safeguard the most significant OCS sediment resources, reduce multiple use conflicts, and minimize interference with oil and gas operations under existing leases or rights-of-way.

Gulf of Mexico Lease Blocks with Significant Sediment Resources:

  • Breton Sound - Blocks 41, 42, 43, 44, 53, 54, 55, 56
  • Chandeleur - Blocks 30-34
  • Main Pass - Blocks 42-44, 86-90, 92-114 and 118-120
  • Main Pass South and East Addition - Blocks 161, 162, 180, and 181
  • High Island Area - Blocks 17, 37-39, 45-49, 70-76, 84-90, 114,115, 136, 158-160, 171-174, 198-204, 231-234, A7-A9, A16-A22, and A37-A39
  • Sabine Pass Area
    • Sabine Bank – Louisiana (SA) SA10 – SA16
    • Sabine Bank – Texas (SX) – SX17, SX40, SX44
  • West Cameron Area - Blocks 20-22, 43-45, 56-58, 90-93, 113-118, 128-134, 146-150, and 168-172
  • West Cameron West Area - Blocks 155-157, and 162
  • Vermilion Area - Blocks 11, 30, 51-54, 68-72, 73-77, 86-96, and 108-111
  • South Marsh Island Area, North Addition - Blocks 207-237, 241-249, and 259- 261
  • Eugene Island Area - Blocks 10, 18-35, 37-69, and 71-93
  • Ship Shoal Area - Blocks 64, 71-75, 84-100, and 107-110
  • South Pelto Area - Blocks 6-15, and 17-20
  • West Delta Area - Blocks 20-31, 43-50, and 56-61
  • Mobile - Blocks 812-821, 856-865, 902-909

Gulf of Mexico Block with Significant Sediment Resources GIS Data

Specific Requirements for Marine Mineral Lessees in the Gulf of Mexico 

BOEM may require operational setbacks from existing oil and gas infrastructure during dredging operations to avoid direct or indirect impacts to infrastructure. Setbacks will be determined on a case-by-case basis, using guidance provided in A Study to Address the Issue of Seafloor Stability and the Impact of Sand Dredging Activities on Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico (OCS Study MMS 2005-043).

Related Information

Information to Lessees (ITL) Notice

“Leasing Activities Information” regarding potential sand dredging activities in the Central Gulf of Mexico presented in the Information to Lessess (ITL) of the Final Notice of Sale Package for Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 206.

Notice to Lessees

Marine Minerals Program Infrastructure-Related Environmental Studies

Through research sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program, the MMP has developed information regarding the potential adverse impacts of dredging operations on existing infrastructure and requirements of potential lessees concerning the identification of the location of existing infrastructure. 

  • OCS Study MMS 2004-019 - Preliminary Infrastructure Stability Study, Offshore Louisiana
  • OCS Study MMS 2005-043 - Study to Address the Issue of Seafloor Stability and the Impact of Sand Dredging Activities on Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico
  • OCS Study MMS 2007-048 - Examination of the Physical and Biological Implications of Using Buried Channel Deposits and Other Non-Topographic Offshore Features as Beach Nourishment Material