USA: BOEM, Maryland Ink Deal to Identify Sand Resources

As a part of President Obama’s continuing commitment to help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and promote resilient coastal systems, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the State of Maryland signed a two-year cooperative agreement totaling $200,000 to evaluate sand resources for coastal resilience and restoration planning.

The agreement will help BOEM and Maryland conduct research that will assist coastal communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy, restore habitat, increase the knowledge of sand resources offshore, and contribute to long-term coastal resilience planning efforts.

Under this agreement, the Maryland Geological Survey of the Department of Natural Resources will evaluate and consolidate its 30 years of offshore data to create seafloor classification maps. These maps will identify and locate potential areas of sand resources, as well as benthic habitat. The overall goal is to have available geologic and benthic habitat resources accessible for planners and managers.

“This agreement demonstrates BOEM’s commitment to work with Maryland to help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and enhance resilience efforts for the future,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “We are committed to continuing to work in a collaborative manner to help local communities withstand damage from future storms.”

The Maryland Geological Survey and BOEM have worked together on sand resource projects since1992.

“We sincerely thank President Obama and BOEM for supporting Maryland’s continuous efforts to protect coastal resources vital to our state’s safety, environmental health and economic prosperity,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joseph Gill.This funding will help protect our citizens and visitors from future storms, prevent damage to sensitive ecological areas, and help us better understand and respond to coastal threats.”

BOEM scientists will assist Maryland in identifying areas to study for future geophysical and geological surveys, with the purpose of confirming previously identified resources and locating new potential areas of sand resources. BOEM will also help Maryland develop tools to more readily share sand resource data with other agencies involved in coastal resilience planning.

Press Release, May 29, 2014

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