The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the State of Maine have signed a two-year cooperative agreement totaling $195,000 to evaluate sand resources for coastal resilience and restoration planning.
Under this agreement, the Maine Coastal Program and Maine Geological Survey of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) will develop an assessment to estimate the resource needs and evaluate the potential for Outer Continental Shelf sand and gravel resources. Maine will develop seafloor maps using new and pre-existing data to expand the Maine Geological Survey map series. The geographic information system data layers will be available to the public online through the Maine Coastal Atlas.
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 data accessible for planners and managers.
“This agreement demonstrates BOEM’s commitment to work with Maine to help coastal communities recover from storms like 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.”
Maine and BOEM began working together on sand resource projects in 2005, but a lack of funding caused the project to be placed on hold. The Hurricane Sandy funding renews BOEM’s ability to help support a resilient Maine coastline.
State Geologist and Director of DACF’s Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning Robert Marvinney welcomed the renewed partnership.
“Although not as hard hit by Hurricane Sandy as some of our southern neighbors, Maine remains vulnerable to damaging hurricanes. BOEM’s foresight in helping to enable existing state programs such as the Maine Coastal Mapping Initiative aids greatly in resiliency planning and helping us to understand the state’s submerged lands and adjacent federal waters in general,” Marvinney said.
BOEM scientists will assist Maine 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 Maine develop tools to more readily share sand resource data with other agencies involved in coastal resilience planning.
Press Release, August 13, 2014