In 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) which meets the requirements under section 3 of Executive Order 13186 (66 FR 3853, January 17, 2001) concerning the responsibilities of Federal agencies to protect migratory birds. The purpose of this MOU is to strengthen migratory bird conservation through enhanced collaboration between BOEM and the FWS. This MOU identifies specific areas in which cooperation between the Parties will substantially contribute to the conservation and management of migratory birds and their habitats.
Both Parties have interests and responsibilities to ensure that the Nation’s development of energy and non-energy mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is done in a manner protective of the natural environment. In assessing impacts to and protecting biological resources, BOEM consults with the FWS on activities that may affect threatened and endangered species. BOEM also evaluates the effects on migratory birds and important habitats such as offshore and near shore foraging, staging, molting, and roosting habitats. BOEM regularly conducts studies that provide information for protection and conservation of migratory birds, including protected species. It is in the interests of both Parties that potential impacts be thoroughly assessed and that mitigation measures be considered and implemented as appropriate.
The FWS and BOEM have successfully collaborated on a variety of projects and studies such as:
- Compendium of Avian Occurrence Information for the Continental Shelf Waters along the Atlantic Coast of the United States: 2006
A study to compile avian occurrence information to be used to generate models to predict impacts of future offshore wind turbines, serve as a baseline for comparisons with post-construction species monitoring efforts, and identify subsequent research and conservation priorities for species that may be most affected by offshore wind development. Collaboration between BOEM, USGS, and FWS.
- Winter distribution and abundance of Steller’s eiders (Polysticta stelleri) in Cook Inlet, Alaska: 2004-2005
A study was designed by the FWS to address BOEM’s obligation to evaluate the potential effects of oil and gas leases in offshore waters of Cook Inlet might have upon Steller's eiders (sea duck).