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Fact Sheets

Essential BOEM Mission Information

BOEM Fact Sheet

BOEM manages the responsible development of America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

BOEM Brochure

Managing responsible development of America's offshore energy and mineral resources.

Oil & Gas Energy

Safe, reliable and affordable domestic energy production powers our economy, promotes jobs and is critical to our nation’s security. Offshore oil and gas play an important role in our national energy portfolio.

Geological and Geophysical (G&G) Surveys

G&G surveys are conducted to: (1) obtain data for oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production, (2) aid in siting offshore (i.e., O&G, renewable energy) structures, and (3) locate marine mineral resources. More specifically, G&G surveys are necessary to make informed decisions about O&G resources, engineering decisions regarding the construction of offshore projects, and informed estimates regarding the composition and volume of sand and gravel resources.

Offshore Wind Activities and Marine Mammal Protection

At the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), environmental protection—informed by the best available science and law—is a priority and an indispensable consideration in our decision making. Our approach to ocean energy and marine mineral development comes with our unwavering dedication to responsible stewardship, which includes protection of America’s ocean environment and marine life.

Renewable Energy

BOEM is responsible for overseeing offshore renewable energy development in federal waters in an economically and environmentally sound manner.  While BOEM's offshore renewable energy portfolio consists of several resources—including ocean wave and ocean current energy—offshore wind energy has garnered the most interest to date.

The Renewable Energy Process: Leasing to Operations

For any proposed OCS development, BOEM evaluates the potential impacts on ocean users, historic and cultural resources and the marine environment. BOEM uses a multi-phased process to grant access to ocean areas that are suitable for wind energy development that consists of the following phases: Planning and Analysis, Leasing, Site Assessment and Construction and Operations.

Environment Fact Sheet

BOEM ensures that environmental protection—informed by the best available science and law—is a foremost concern and an indispensable consideration in BOEM’s decision making.

Managing Impacts of Human-generated Noise on Marine Life

Through research and environmental reviews, BOEM plays a key role in improving the overall scientific understanding of the potential effects of anthropogenic, or human-generated, sound on marine life. This fact sheet describes BOEM’s adaptive management approach to developing and applying science for decisions on sound..

Marine Minerals - Overview

BOEM manages non-energy marine minerals (sand, gravel, etc.) in the OCS in a manner that facilitates access, promotes responsible use, and minimizes or avoids environmental impacts.

Marine Minerals Program - Fast Facts

BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program is the sole federal program responsible for leasing non-energy resources (primarily sand and gravel) from the OCS, most often used in beach nourishment and coastal restoration projects. The bureau invests in applied environmental research to ensure that the removal of any mineral resource is done in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

Marine Minerals Information System

Marine Minerals Information System (MMIS)

The MMIS offers a one-stop, state-of-the-art interactive tool that provides public access to data and information relevant to offshore sand and gravel mineral resources. These resources are vital for the construction of coastal protection and restoration projects. This award-winning tool allows users to download, visualize and explore more than 20 data layers covering more than 30 years of research.

Critical Mineral Resources

The U.S. has potential offshore critical minerals to supply our strategic need, but they are currently an underexplored and untapped resource.

Projected Boundaries Fact Sheet

Coastlines throughout the United States change over time, and so, too, must the two key boundaries that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) uses and maintains through the Boundary Delineation System (BDS) to identify its mission areas. These boundaries, the Submerged Lands Act (SLA) boundary and Limit of “8(g) Zone” boundary, are the official Offshore Marine Cadastre boundaries from which other area delineations are made.


Other Boundaries Fact Sheet

While the coastline and the boundaries projected from it are essential to BOEM’s work, there are other mission-critical boundaries that the Geospatial Services Division must maintain in the Boundary Delineation System (BDS) that are independent of the Submerged Lands Act (SLA) Coastline. These other boundaries of note are not “projected” from the coastline; however, they still require maintenance as part of the official Offshore Marine Cadastre.

Boundary Delineation System Fact Sheet

In order for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to meet its mission of managing development of the Nation's offshore resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way, the agency must have accurate, up-to-date mapping and assessment tools and methods. The Boundary Delineation System (BDS), used and maintained by the Geospatial Services Division (GSD), is a set of tools to do just that.

Official Mapping Products Fact Sheet

Fundamental to BOEM being a responsible steward of the U.S. Outer Continental (OCS) is the creation of official maps with delineated boundaries for monitoring, enforcement, and oversight. Maps illustrating ocean boundaries are critical for conservation, environmental, and economic purposes and to conduct everyday governmental sovereignty functions associated with U.S. insular areas.