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How We Do Research

ESP 50th Anniversary Logo
View the ESP 50th Anniversary highlights.

BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program (ESP) develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research specifically to establish information needed for assessing and managing environmental impacts of energy and mineral development on the human, marine, and coastal environments. Mandated by Section 20 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the ESP is an indispensable requirement informing how BOEM manages offshore oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, and the marine minerals program for coastal restoration. The ESP has provided over $1 billion for research since its inception in 1973. Research covers physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, protected species, social sciences and economics, submerged cultural resources, environmental fates and effects, oil spills, and more. BOEM’s vision is for the ESP to be “first in class”— the best research program possible.


Environmental Studies

View list of ongoing and completed ESP studies


Science Quality & Integrity

Using the best available science through extensive peer review


ESP Strategic Framework

What does BOEM need to know, what strategic questions should be posed, and what criteria should be used to prioritize studies for addressing these questions?



The National Academies Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment provides independent, technical input on issues of interest to BOEM's environmental studies



Environmental Studies Planning

BOEM’s rigorous planning, review, and procurement process for environmental research


Report and Footprint Specifications

Guidance for authors, vendors, Contract and Project Officers, and editors