Research and Studies

scientist working on boat in the ocean
(Credit: Steve DeNeef)

The Marine Minerals Program funds research in two broad categories: Resource Evaluation and Environmental Studies. 

BOEM scientists use the information from resource evaluation studies to identify and manage sand and other mineral resources. For example, our geologists use geophysical and geological data to locate, define, and design borrow areas and resolve multiple use conflicts. 

The results from environmental studies (biological, physical modeling, and environmental impact) are used to characterize the effects of proposed mineral exploration or extraction and design effective mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, or eliminate adverse environmental effects. Mitigation is incorporated, as appropriate, into lease terms indicating how sand, gravel, or other minerals can be accessed.  

Learn more about BOEM research: