The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formalizing coordination on managing offshore sand resources.
BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank and James C. Dalton, Corps Director of Civil Works, signed the agreement for the two agencies.
According to BOEM, this MOU will enhance coordination on managing sand, gravel and shell resources from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which consists of 1.7 billion acres of seafloor under federal jurisdiction.
The agreement establishes a framework for early and sustained coordination and cooperation between BOEM and the Corps. It will help each agency meet its mission by building upon the relationship they have had for more than two decades.
The MOU will also support consistency in environmental compliance, project scheduling, and negotiated agreement requirements for projects proposing to use OCS sand, gravel, and shell resources, for which there has been a growing demand in recent years.
The mission of BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program is to facilitate access to and manage the Nation’s OCS non-energy marine minerals, particularly sand and gravel, through environmentally responsible stewardship of resources, prudent assessments of exploration and leasing activities, coordination with governmental partners, engagement of stakeholders, strategic planning, and mission-focused scientific research to improve decision-making and risk management.
The OCS Lands Act establishes BOEM as the only federal agency authorized to lease access to non-energy mineral resources from the OCS for shore protection, beach nourishment, or wetland restoration projects undertaken by a federal, state or local government.