New BOEM Report on Future OCS Sand Resources

In recent years, BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program (MMP) has seen an increase in both the number of requests and volume of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sediment for coastal restoration projects.

This is largely driven by diminishing resources in state waters, the frequency and magnitude of storms along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and new infrastructure projects.

To help prepare for and meet future sand resource needs out to about 2027, MMP funded a study entitled “Projected OCS Sand Resource Needs and Effort”.

The report outlines several possible scenarios to help estimate future need and the research required to meet the demand.

The study compiled coastal project data from many different sources, including but not limited to, publicly available databases, project reports, and online permits.

The report reached three major conclusions, however: more states will turn to OCS sediment resources as in-state resources become scarcer, the volumes requested will be larger to support increasing coastal resilience measures, and there is a critical need for BOEM to continue identifying additional OCS sand resources.

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Photo: Image source: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock