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Marine Minerals Activities


Marine Minerals Activities – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Marine Minerals Activities

Marine Minerals Activities
Renee Orr Chief, Leasing Division OCS Policy
Committee Meeting Annapolis, Maryland
February 22, 2007
FY 07 Budget Continuing Resolution
  • 8 million OMM budget shortfall forcing MMS to
    reassess all spending
  • What level of activity can MMS sustain
  • Comprehensive Marine Minerals Program Review
  • On-going and new Environmental Studies
  • Processing and Prioritization of lease requests
  • In process
  • New

Post-Katrina/Rita Offshore Sand for Gulf Coast
States Coastal Restoration
  • Funded by a special hurricane relief
    appropriation of 1.28 million in 2006.
    Advertised through Grants.Gov in Jan. 2007
  • Must involve planned use of OCS sand to restore
    parts of the coast damaged by Katrina and Rita
  • Specified for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
    and Texas
  • Proposals have been received from all 4 states
  • Grants will be awarded this Spring and project
    kick-off meeting will held in late March

Proposed Sand Projects for Post-Katrina/Rita
  • Louisiana Explore Tiger and Trinity shoals
    offshore of the central coast
  • Texas Explore Sabine and Colorado
    paleo-channels, east Texas coast
  • Mississippi Study seismic data in the St.
    Bernard shoals off the eastern coast
  • Alabama Construct an interactive offshore sand
    resource data mapper

Request for Salt Lease Sale offshore New Jersey
  • Eva Porite Mineral Solutions LLC has proposed to
    solution-mine salt from sites 60-80 miles off New
  • Mined salt would be shipped by barge to chemical
    plants in Delaware

Requests to Lease Minerals in the Pacific EEZ
  • Two companies have requested leases for metallic
    minerals in the EEZ offshore of the Northern
    Marianas islands
  • One company, Nautilus Minerals is now developing
    a metals mining operation in deep water off Papua
    New Guinea with a new 150 million mining ship
    and ROVs
  • MMS currently does not have specific authority to
    offer leases outside of the OCS off the 50 states
  • The Issue is under review by DOI solicitors

Current Sand Lease Requests
  • Sandbridge/Virginia Beach, VA
  • Myrtle Beach/Horry County, SC
  • Volusia County, FL
  • Pelican Island, LA
  • Whiskey, Island, LA
  • Racoon Island, LA
  • Brewing sand wars in Florida

Major Ongoing Marine Minerals Environmental
  • LA Ship Shoal and Tiger/Trinity Shoals (Ship
    Shoal study indicates that physical and
    biological conditions on shoals offshore LA are
    radically different than reported previously in

Major Ongoing Marine Minerals Environmental
  • Florida East and West Coasts Biological/Physical
    Study (East coast effort being used in
    development of sand lease for Volusia County)

Major Ongoing Marine Minerals Environmental
Dredging Guidelines Development (field work to be
conducted at Isle of Wight Shoal to examine in
detail physical and biological characteristics
of shoal features and recommend dredging
techniques to mitigate potential impacts)
Criteria for Shoal Selection for Detailed
? Positive ? Reasonable Negative
Major Ongoing Marine Minerals Environmental
  • Examination of the Physical and Biological
    Implications of Using Buried Channel Deposits and
    Other Non-Topographic Features as Beach
    Nourishment Material
  • Examining in detail potential effects associated
    with dredging buried channel deposits
  • Buried channel deposits are being targeted as
    sand sources for numerous LA barrier island
    restoration efforts
  • Biological and physical field date being
    collected at Holly Beach, LA dredge pit

Possible New Marine Mineral Environmental Efforts
  • Biological/Physical effort offshore San Francisco
  • 700K from MMS ESP over three years
  • IA with USGS/Santa Cruz
  • Partnering and additional funds provided by USGS,
    State of CA, City of San Francisco, Army Corps
  • Study will be used in development of sand lease
    to State/City of SF for project at Ocean Beach to
    protect integrity of Citys main sewage
    treatment/outfall facility, as well as the Great
    Hwy, one of SFs main north-south roadways

Possible New Marine Mineral Environmental Efforts
  • Possible new LSU/MMS Coastal Marine Institute
    Effort Assessing the Impacts of Spawning Blue
    Crab Populations on the Use of Ship Shoal Sand
    for Louisiana Barrier Island Restoration
  • Ship Shoal study resulted in the identification
    of possible spawning areas for blue crabs never
    noted before offshore LA
  • Could have implications regarding seasonal or
    areal restrictions on use of sand

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