Coastal Marine Institute
The Coastal Marine Institute
The University of Alaska Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) was established in 1993 through a cooperative agreement between the University of Alaska and the U. S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to study coastal topics associated with the development of natural resources in Alaska's outer continental shelf. Under this cooperative program, BOEM taps the highly qualified scientific expertise at the University of Alaska to:
- Collect and disseminate environmental information needed for OCS oil, gas, and marine minerals decisions.
- Address local and regional OCS-related environmental and resource issues of mutual interest.
- Strengthen the partnership between BOEM and the states by addressing OCS oil and gas and marine minerals information needs.
- Many of the CMI funded projects address a combination of issues related to fisheries, biomonitoring, physical oceanography, and the fates of oil.
The CMI requests Letters of Intent (LOI) for potential research projects in late spring each year. The CMI Technical Steering Committee reviews the project concepts and selects those that advance to full proposal stage. Proposals are received in the late fall, peer reviewed, and the TSC convenes to make final funding recommendations in January.
The CMI sponsors a public Annual Review of all funded projects in January, concurrent with the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage Alaska. At this review, Principle Investigators and students present either progress reports or final results. This is a great opportunity to learn about the research being completed by this cooperative agreement between UAF and BOEM.
Evolution of Coastal Marine Institutes
The U. S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management administers the outer continental shelf (OCS) natural gas, oil, and marine minerals program. The program oversees the safe and environmentally sound leasing, exploration, and production of these resources within our nation's offshore areas. The Environmental Studies Program (ESP) was formally directed in 1978, under Section 20 of the OCS Lands Act Amendments, to provide information for decisions involving the planning, leasing, and management of offshore exploration, development, and production. The research agenda is driven by issues, concerns, or data gaps identified by federal decision makers and state and local governments who participate in the process. ESP research focuses on the following broad issues associated with the development of OCS natural gas, oil, and minerals: What are the fates and effects of potential OCS-related pollutants (e.g., oil, noise, drilling muds and cuttings, products of fuel combustion) in the marine and coastal environment and atmosphere? What biological resources (such as fish populations) exist, and what resources are at risk? What is the nature and extent of the risk? What measures must be taken to allow extraction to take place? How do OCS activities affect people in terms of jobs and the economy? What are the direct and indirect effects on local culture? What are the psychological effects of the proposed OCS activities?
BOEM and individual states have distinct but complementary roles in the decision making process to determine the scientific information needed by BOEM, the states, and localities potentially affected by resource exploration and extraction on the outer continental shelf. To ensure local cooperation and issue identification, BOEM has developed the locally managed Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) program. CMI partnerships exist with three universities: Louisiana State University, the University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Alaska.