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BOEM and New Hampshire sign agreement to identify sand resources

News // May 19, 2014

As 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 New Hampshire signed a two-year cooperative agreement totaling US$200,000 to identify sand resources for coastal resilience and restoration planning.

The agreement will help BOEM and the State of New Hampshire conduct research that will assist coastal communities in recovering from future devastating storms such as Hurricane Sandy, restore habitat, increase knowledge of offshore sand resources, and contribute to long-term coastal planning efforts.

Under this agreement, the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, together with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Geological Survey, will develop an assessment of sand resource needs, and provide analysis of existing geophysical and geological data that can be used to find new sand resource areas offshore New Hampshire.

"This agreement demonstrates BOEM's commitment to work with New Hampshire to help coastal communities recover from devastating storms such as Hurricane Sandy and enhance resilience efforts for the future," said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. "We will continue to work in a collaborative manner to help local communities withstand damage from future storms."
BOEM scientists will assist New Hampshire in identifying areas to study for future geophysical and geological surveys, with the purpose of confirming previously identified sand resources and locating new potential resource areas. BOEM will also help New Hampshire develop tools to more readily share sand resource data with other agencies involved in coastal resilience planning.
Partnering with the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping allows BOEM to work with a leading center for ocean study that has a strong international reputation. The New Hampshire Geological Survey has partnered with BOEM on previous cooperative agreements since 2004. Together, these institutions bring a wealth of scientific expertise to the understanding of ocean resources for the state, region and nation.

The activities included in this cooperative agreement are essential for reducing potential storm damage to the residents, economies, and infrastructure of New Hampshire's coastal areas. Research funded under the agreement will help ensure that activities, including offshore dredging and beach nourishment, are conducted in a sustainable manner that is compatible with natural sediment transport and biological processes, as well as stakeholder interests.

The agreement is part of a series of partnerships with coastal Atlantic states using part of the US$13.6 million allocated to BOEM through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.  The research will identify sand and gravel resources that are appropriate for coastal protection and restoration along the entire Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). 
Since Hurricane Sandy struck, BOEM has been working with the US Army Corps of Engineers, other members of the Federal government's Hurricane Sandy Task Force, state coastal planning agencies, state geological surveys and other entities to analyze the needs for coastal restoration and to develop restoration plans.
BOEM has the authority to convey, on a noncompetitive basis, the rights to resources for shore protection, beach or wetland restoration projects, or for use in construction projects funded in whole or part, or authorized by the federal government. In exercising this authority, BOEM may issue a negotiated non-competitive lease agreement for the use of OCS sand to a qualifying entity.


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