BOEM-funded research continues to contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge on the marine environment and informs BOEM's decision-making regarding renewable energy planning, leasing, and development efforts. Take a look at the studies underway to learn more:
Birds and Bats
- Compiling existing seabird data for future analyses
- Using historical distribution data to predict future shifts in bird distribution patterns
- Creating interactive maps with existing data to evaluate colony status
- Provide detailed information linking varying environmental and oceanographic conditions to seabirds within the Pacific OCS and help define habitat characteristics and identify mechanisms that aggregate seabirds.
- Increase BOEM’s understanding of at-sea habitat utilization and ranging behaviors for seabirds breeding within the main Hawaiian Islands.
- Developing a new modeling approach to evaluate the risk of collision of birds with offshore wind turbines
- Study aimed at obtaining quantitative information on year-round, diurnal/nocturnal, and weather- related patterns in movements, behaviors, residence time, and migration corridors for seabirds.
Cultural and Archaeological Resources
- Determine if landforms and sites are being identified correctly from the geophysical data acquired under guidelines published in NTL 2006-P03, and if these buried landforms actually are preserved prehistoric sites.
- Develop a proactive approach to working with Native American communities in order to identify areas of tribal significance that need to be considered in the planning process.
Environmental Fates and Effects
- Acquire real-time observations of the construction and initial operation of wind facilities to aid the evaluation of environmental effects of future facilities.
- Continuing the Acquisition of real-time observations of the construction and initial operation of wind facilities to aid the evaluation of environmental effects of future facilities
- Research, observe, sample, and/or monitor offshore renewable energy applications and technologies in the Pacific Region to determine potential environmental effects on the coastal and marine environment.
- Identifying how structures support invasive species
- Observe whales and seabirds and use to validate modeled seabird and whale distribution maps.
- Improving benthic models and including sponges and rals.
- Understand the natural range and sources of variability in the kelp forest ecosystem well enough to generate predictions on how it will respond to environmental change and enable scientists and managers to evaluate possible impacts from offshore oil and gas and alternative energy production, and develop options to mitigate these impacts.
Fish and Fisheries
- Creating a library of fish sounds to identify fish collected in the marine environment from datasets collected using acoustic monitoring.
- Establishing fish auditory thresholds for Black Sea Bass and Longfin Squid
- Examining the effects of offshore windfarm construction noise on two key commercially and ecological important taxa, squid and black sea bass, using field-based controlled exposures
- Using expert scientists to develop survey methodologies addressing effects from presence of offshore wind structures
Exploring how observations of fishing vessels from wildlife surveys can enhance the characterization of fishing vessel activity derived from AIS/VMS data
- Using new technologies to study cod and other fish species in the Southern New England Area
- Partnering with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the State of Rhode Island to fund fisheries research, specifically acoustic telemetry of highly migratory species; net surveys for lobster and fish neuston; and vessel data and machine learning.
- Connecting genetics and fish movements to better understand how sturgeon migrate between rivers and the ocean
- Using agent-based modeling to evaluate the effects of offshore wind development on surfclam and ocean quahog fishing.
Marine Mammals and Other Protected Species
- Using modeling to assess the effects from offshore wind development on the North Atlantic Right Whale
- Comparing observation methodologies using traditional survey methods and new technologies.
Using telemetry to determine how leatherback sea turtles respond to a sound source in the ocean
- Continuation of broad-scale surveys for marine mammals and turtles on the outer continental shelf
- Provide information on the seasonal patterns of occurrence and habitat use as well as explore the underlying causal mechanisms for Atlantic sturgeon habitat selection in and around the Virginia WEA and the Sandbridge Shoal sand borrow site in BOEM’s Mid-Atlantic Planning Area.
- Improve information about protected living marine resources through multi-year surveys of marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Developing a methodology to evaluate towed PAM systems for their effectiveness to detect marine mammals
- Collecting distribution and abundance observations about seabird and marine mammals.
- Provide up-to-date information on species composition, distribution, abundance, seasonal variation, and habitat utilization of marine mammals and seabirds along selected locations along the Pacific coast.
- Characterizing the interaction of whales with mooring lines and cables.
- Monitoring of zooplankton that are a critical food source for marine mammals
- Improving regional models of seafloor (benthic) habitats, geologic hazards and sedimentary processes
- Collecting wind data using a LiDAR buoy.
- Provide a comprehensive survey across the various types of offshore renewable energy technologies and perform an assessment of their technical and economic feasibility in the Gulf of Mexico to inform the Bureau’s strategic planning.