Discussions with states affected by Hurricane Sandy exposed the need for a national sand inventory to help improve their preparedness for the future. In 2014, BOEM signed cooperative agreements with 13 Atlantic States from Florida to Maine to award funds to help them update maps and consolidate databases on offshore sediment resources. Including the ASAP surveys, these activities amounted to a one-time investment of $12.8 million. Another $400,000 supported stakeholder outreach to learn what states and local communities needed to build resilience and plan effectively. Background on each agreement, as well as summary reports for each state are available on the MMP state and regional page.
BOEM has signed two additional cooperative agreements with Delaware and South Carolina. These agreements will foster further collaboration between regional institutions. The Delaware agreement partners with New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The South Carolina agreement partners with academic institutions in North Carolina and Georgia.
Both agreements will perform more in-depth analyses on the Atlantic Sand Assessment Project (ASAP) vibracores and geophysical data, and leverage their existing data to improve understanding of the offshore regional geology. The in-depth analyses include constructing detailed lithologic logs through observation, sediment analyses, and use of the multi-sensor core logger at Lamont-Doherty Core Repository. Stratigraphic interpretations will be performed supported by the use of Amino Acid Racemization and Carbon-14 age dating techniques, as well as uranium-lead dating of zircon grains. Petrologic compositional analyses to examine heavy mineral percentages will provide information regarding the resource potential and value for economically significant minerals. The in-depth offshore data, combined with existing onshore data, may establish the ultimate source (i.e., provenance) and transport histories of these offshore sediments, leading to improved accuracy during future reconnaissance efforts.
BOEM is sharing the data from these activities through its website and the portals mentioned above.