The environmental work at BOEM is done through a collaborative team spread across the bureau in every program and region. The Office of Environmental Programs provides overall program and policy direction and support for BOEM's environmental activities.
The OCS Lands Act directs BOEM to study and consider coastal, marine, and human environmental impacts when making decisions on how to effectively promote energy independence, environmental protection, economic development, and national security. BOEM applies more than 30 Federal regulations, statutes, executive orders and policies—including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—into our decisions.
To ensure that environmental protection is a primary consideration in our decisions, BOEM focuses on two core components that constantly engage with and inform each other:
Environmental Assessment—Includes the activities BOEM performs to evaluate the impacts of BOEM’s proposed actions, and to involve the public, and federal, state, and tribal governments in the process. BOEM prepares NEPA documents and OCS Lands Act reports, conducts consultations with other agencies charged with protecting various resources, and participates in international conventions and treaty activities. The bureau encourages meaningful public participation in its decision-making process.
Environmental Studies—BOEM develops, conducts, and oversees world-class scientific research studies to inform policy decisions. The bureau’s environmental studies cover a broad range of disciplines, including physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, protected species, social sciences (including economics and cultural resources), and the environmental impacts of energy development. BOEM manages pioneering and ongoing research studies nationally and in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore Alaska.
Ongoing interaction between studies and assessment activities helps BOEM prioritize and target specific information needs, fill knowledge gaps in time for future decisions, and maintain our high level of commitment to environmental stewardship.