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Marine Minerals

Preserving and Restoring the Nation's Beaches and Supporting Coastal Resilience

The Marine Minerals Program partners with communities to address serious erosion along the Nation’s coastal beaches, dunes, barrier islands, and wetlands. Erosion affects natural resources, energy, defense, public infrastructure, and tourism. To help address this problem, the MMP leases sand, gravel and/or shell resources from federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for shore protection, beach nourishment, and wetlands restoration with vigorous safety and environmental oversight. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) provides the authority to manage minerals on the OCS and the requirement to provide environmental oversight. 

BOEM is the only federal agency with the authority to lease marine minerals from the OCS, including responding to commercial requests for OCS minerals such as gold, manganese, or other hard minerals. Read about our Legal Framework, and our mission and vision or get an overview or review fast facts from our fact sheets.