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
GOM Lease Area Blocks with Significant Sediment Resources
Breton Sound 41, 42, 43, 44, 53, 54, 55, and 56
Chandeleur 30-34
Charlotte Harbor 518, 561-563, 605-607, 649-652, 653, 701, 744-746, 788-790, 832-834, 875-878, 919-922, 964-966, and 1011
Destin Dome 1-7 and 45-51
Eugene Island Area 10, 18-35, 37-69, and 71-93
High Island Area 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
Main Pass 42-44, 86-90, 92-114, and 118-120
Main Pass South and East Addition 161, 162, 180, and 181
Miami 89 and 269-271
Mobile 765-767, 778-779, 809-830, 853-874, 897-918, 954-962, and 999-1006
Pensacola 751-752, 793-796, 753, 754, 797, 798, 837-842, 881-886, 925-930, and 969-975
Pulley Ridge 43 and 87
Sabine Bank – Louisiana (SA) SA10 – SA16
Sabine Bank – Texas (SX) SX17, SX40, SX44
Ship Shoal Area 64, 71-75, 84-100, and 107-110
South Marsh Island Area, North Addition 207-237, 241-249, and 259- 261
South Pelto Area 6-15 and 17-20
St. Petersburg 19-20, 65, 864, 21, 417-418, 461-463, 506-508, and 775,820
Tarpon Springs 810-812, 854-856, 899, 900, and 987-989
Vermilion Area 11, 30, 51-54, 68-72, 73-77, 86-96, and 108-111
Viosca Knoll 34-38 and 78-82
West Cameron Area 20-22, 43-45, 56-58, 90-93, 113-118, 128-134, 146-150, and 168-172
West Cameron West Area 155-157 and 162
West Delta Area 20-31, 43-50, and 56-61

The proceedings of the Information Transfer Meetings offer scientific information in such fields as archaeology, coral reefs, deepwater, economic effects of the oil industry, fish, geology, ocean currents, oil spill research, pinnacles, platforms, and protected species.

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 Gulf of Mexico is available on the Information to Lessess (ITL) page with the latest oil and gas lease sale information.

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