BOEM: Outlining Atlantic Sand Resources for Beach Nourishment

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the completion of several major initiatives undertaken with Hurricane Sandy emergency funding.

They include updated maps and consolidated databases related to offshore sediment resources, made possible through cooperative agreements between BOEM and 13 Atlantic states from Florida to Maine in 2014.

The second major accomplishment is the opening of the Atlantic Sand Assessment Project (ASAP) core storage repository at the world-renown Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University’s campus in Palisades, New York.

The core collection and extensive new database are the result of the BOEM-funded Hurricane Sandy initiative to create a new inventory of potential offshore sediment resources in Federal waters in the Atlantic.

The project involved collecting, analyzing and cataloging 160 sediment cores offshore 11 East Coast states from Miami, Florida, to Massachusetts beginning in 2015. The core analysis provides important information on thickness of sediment layers, composition of sediment layers, organic material content, and overall compatibility with beach sands.

“The completion of these activities marks great progress for BOEM, our state and academic partners and others concerned with coastal and wetland restoration and resilience planning,” said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper. “BOEM remains committed to maintaining an active dialogue with our coastal partners to help them plan for and respond to changes on the coast.”

BOEM has invested more than $40 million over the past 20 years to identify non-energy resources on the OCS, conduct world-class scientific research, and lease OCS resources to coastal communities and other Federal agencies in need.

Information from environmental research and resource identification has informed environmental assessment and leasing decisions concerning the use of OCS sand resources in beach nourishment and coastal restoration.