The Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) at Louisiana State University was formed under a Cooperative Agreement between the University and BOEM (formerly MMS). The CMI Program at LSU is coordinated through the Environmental Studies Program at the Gulf of Mexico Regional Office of BOEM.
The first Cooperative Agreement between this Agency and LSU was initiated in 1992. The achievements of the first agreement are reviewed in the report Management of the MMS-LSU Coastal Marine Institute: A Report of the First Six Years, 1992-1998, Final Report. The program continued with a second and third Cooperative Agreement spanning the years 1999-2010. Recently, a fourth agreement was signed to extend the partnership through August 2011.
The purpose of the CMI Program is to permit BOEM to take advantage of highly qualified, scientific expertise at local levels to
- Collect and disseminate environmental information needed for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas and marine minerals decisions,
- Address local and regional OCS related environmental and resource issues of mutual interest, and
- Strengthen the BOEM-State of Louisiana partnership in addressing OCS oil and gas and marine minerals information needs.
The objectives of the Cooperative Agreement are to
- Respond to BOEM, State, and local information needs and interests with local expertise of national caliber in the OCS relevant disciplines found at Louisiana State University;
- Broaden recognition and comprehension of study results through performance and presentation of findings by a highly credible local research institution;
- Improve existing local capabilities and facilities for innovative scientific research relevant to OCS resource management issues;
- Use the interdisciplinary environment of a research university to foster process-oriented studies, needed technologies and concepts, and synthesis of information that will benefit environmental and resource management;
- Achieve consensus between BOEM and Louisiana regarding the most important environmental research needs relevant to the OCS Program; and
- Reduce the cost to Louisiana and BOEM of obtaining resource management information by co-funding information acquisition activities.
Within this Cooperative Agreement, BOEM and Louisiana jointly agree on the most important research needs in the context of the OCS Program.
CMI projects address one or more of the following target areas:
- environmental aspects of technologies for extracting and transporting non-energy resources;
- environmental response to changing energy extraction and transport technologies;
- analyses and synthesis of existing data/information from previous studies;
- modeling of environmental, social, and economic processes and systems;
- new information about the structure/function of affected systems via application of descriptive and experimental means;
- projects that improve the application and distribution of multi-source information.