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Tribal Engagement

Many Native Americans live near and use areas where BOEM activities are proposed and conducted. The ancestors of today’s tribes occupied vast areas of land and depended on nearby ocean resources, even prior to both sea level rise at the end of the last ice age and interaction with the U.S. government. Furthermore, it is important to note the impact that the history of Federal law and policy has had on tribal access to ancestral lands. Policies such as the Indian Removal Act of 1830 enabled mass removal of Native Americans from their lands; these types of actions continue to have long-lasting impacts on tribes and their relationship with the Federal government.

BOEM implements tribal consultation policies through both formal government-to-government consultation and informal dialogue, collaboration, and engagement. BOEM is committed to maintaining open and transparent communications with Tribal governments, Alaska Native Organizations, Native Hawaiian Organizations and other indigenous communities. BOEM’s approach aims to emphasize trust, respect, and shared responsibility as part of a deliberative process for effective collaboration and informed decision-making.

Chief Environmental Officer  
William Y. Brown
Washington DC
Tribal Liaison OfficerTribal Coordinator 
Hillary Renick
Washington DC
Bernard Howard
Washington DC
Tribal Liaison Representatives   
Pacific Region
Dave Ball
Gulf of Mexico Region
Bill Rosenzweig
Alaska Tribal and Community Liaison
Michael Haller
Office of Renewable Energy (Atlantic)

BOEM’s approach aims to emphasize trust, respect, and shared responsibility as part of a deliberative process for effective collaboration and informed decision-making.  BOEM encourages the use of the consultation processes, initiated by either party, to assure a free and active exchange of information.

Department of the Interior Policy

tribal engagement

The Environmental Studies Program (ESP)

BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research specifically to inform policy decisions on the development of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Research covers physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, protected species, social sciences and economics, submerged cultural resources and environmental fates and effects. Mandated by Section 20 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Environmental Studies Program is an indispensable requirement informing BOEM’s decisions on offshore oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, and the marine minerals program for coastal restoration. The ESP has provided over $1 billion for research to this end since its inception in 1973.

Selected Studies

Gaining knowledge of how Bureau activities may affect traditional ways, subsistence, and indigenous cultural resources is a key element to effective decision-making. Government-to-government consultations, community meetings, public hearings, and other special activities provide government staff and leadership the opportunity to learn from tribes and incorporate their viewpoints in the decision-making process. For over 40 years the ESP has worked to engage with indigenous communities on cultural and subsistence studies prior to Federal Actions. 

National Scope Studies 

Alaska Studies 

Atlantic Studies 

Pacific Studies 

Gulf of Mexico Studies