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Abstract Geophysical sensors are used routinely in industry surveys conducted prior to ground disturbing activities offshore in order to identify archaeologically significant resources such as shipwrecks. The primary sensors include sonar and magnetometers, but these systems cannot effectively identify all historic vessels located on, and particularly those buried underneath, seafloor sediments. Vessels that are lost on the OCS become incorporated into the natural environment offshore, and archaeological interpretation requires an understanding of these environments in order to accurately identify sites. This paper will discuss both primary and ancillary geophysical data sets used in the identification of historic resources on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf and introduce environmental data sets and observations from diver investigations that are used to further refine data interpretation. Introduction Submerged cultural resource managers in the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for balancing the protection of the underwater cultural heritage while regulating economic development of the outer continental shelf (OCS). Archaeological sites do not exist in isolation on the world's seabeds; fishing, farming, aggragates extraction, and energy resource development (such as oil, gas, and renewables) are just some of the offshore activities that can be regulated at the local, national, and international level. For more on this subject see Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites special issue Conserving Marine Cultural Heritage 11(1), March 2009. Numerous stakeholders use coastal resources on the OCS. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, underwater archaeological resources such as historic shipwrecks and submerged prehistoric sites can and have been impacted by fishing, farming, and energy development (e.g., Atauz et al. 2006). In the United States, offshore oil and gas industry activities are regulated by the (at the time of writing) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE). Submerged archaeological resources on the OCS were first managed by the Bureau of Land Management prior to the creation of the former Minerals Management Service (MMS now BOEMRE). The first archaeological lease stipulations were mandated in 1973. This lease stipulation was followed in April 1974 by the first Notice to Lessees (NTL) to feature geophysical survey and report requirements to meet the archaeological stipulation, NTL 74-10. Since the first requirements for archaeological surveys, approximately 500 vessels have been identified within the Gulf of Mexico region. It is unknown how many potential prehistoric archaeological sites may be located on the formerly exposed land mass of the outer continental shelf (Stright 1986). In the Gulf of Mexico, submerged resources are defined and protected by federal legislation including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA 1969), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA 1966), and Executive Order 11593, among others. When ground-disturbing activities are planned in areas designated as potentially archaeologically significant, offshore energy developers are required to submit a survey and assessment of potential cultural resources present in the project area that may be negatively impacted by lease development. If historically significant archaeological resources are identified, the federal government can and often does require that the operator move their proposed activity to avoid the resource. The assigned avoidance serves two purposes: it protects underwater cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations and also protects offshore workers during operations since archaeological sites can create hazardous working conditions.
Abstract The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is charged with the environmentally responsible and safe development of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. To assist in fulfilling this mandate, BOEMRE's Environmental Studies Program (ESP) conducts research and synthesizes available environmental and social and economic science information to support decision-making related to development of offshore energy and mineral resources. Studies focused on cultural and archaeological resources are an essential part of BOEMRE's on-going research funding efforts. BOEMRE has funded several studies in recent years to assist the bureau in characterizing where cultural and archaeological resources are located on the Atlantic OCS and how they might be affected by offshore oil and gas, wind energy, and mineral development. The studies discussed in this paper include two Atlantic-wide cultural and archaeological resource characterization studies, a historical shipwreck recording and evaluation partnership project, and a combined shipwreck and benthic habitat study in the mid-Atlantic. These studies focus on the potential location of prehistoric and historic archaeological resources, the characterization of potential visual impacts to on-shore cultural resources, the significance and integrity of known historic shipwrecks, and the important role that cultural resources play as part of the marine ecosystem. Additionally, two studies that have been proposed for the Atlantic will be discussed briefly. If selected for funding, they will assist in evaluating the effectiveness of exclusion zones in protecting archaeological and benthic resources, and utilizing ethnographic data from commercial fisheries sector as a proxy for shipwreck sites. The results from these peer-reviewed studies provide critical information necessary to inform decision-making processes on siting of energy development projects, as well as developing the appropriate mitigation and compliance to ensure that significant cultural and archaeological resources remained unharmed. Introduction The BOEMRE is charged with the environmentally responsible and safe development of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. To assist in fulfilling this mandate, BOEMRE's Environmental Studies Program (ESP) conducts research and synthesizes available environmental and social and economic science information to support decision-making related to development of offshore energy and mineral resources. Studies focused on cultural and archaeological resources are an essential part of BOEMRE's on-going research funding efforts. BOEMRE has funded several studies in recent years to assist the bureau in characterizing where cultural and archaeological resources are located on the Atlantic OCS and how they might be affected by offshore oil and gas, wind energy, and mineral development. Studies The studies discussed in this paper include two Atlantic-wide cultural and archaeological resource characterization studies, a historical shipwreck recording and evaluation partnership project, and a combined shipwreck and benthic habitat study in the mid-Atlantic. Additionally, two studies that have been proposed for the Atlantic will be discussed briefly. If selected for funding, they will assist in evaluating the effectiveness of exclusion zones in protecting archaeological and benthic resources, and utilizing ethnographic data from thecommercial fisheries sector as a proxy for shipwreck sites. These studies focus on the use of technology to characterize visual impacts to on-shore cultural resources, the potential location of prehistoric and historic archaeological resources, the significance and integrity of known historic shipwrecks, and the important role that cultural resources play as part of the marine ecosystem.
Abstract Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is responsible for leasing renewable energy activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Included among these activities are offshore data collection devices, wind turbines and marine hydrokinetic (MHK) facilities, such as wave and current generators. As with any federal action or undertaking, an assessment of potential impacts to the environment, including cultural resources, is required. This paper provides an introduction to BOEMRE's offshore renewable energy program and the protection of underwater cultural heritage on the Pacific OCS. Included is a summary of energy activities on the Pacific OCS and BOEMRE environmental studies designed to provide information for compliance reviews under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Introduction Acquisition of offshore energy and mineral resources has occurred in the federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for over sixty years. For most of that time, the focus has been primarily on exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources (e.g., oil and gas). Oversight of these activities on the OCS currently lies with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). In addition to oil and gas activities, BOEMRE is responsible for granting access to OCS sand and gravel for coastal restoration projects. With passage of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, BOEMRE's responsibility also now includes offshore renewable energy, with a focus on wind and marine hydrokinetic (MHK) projects. As interest in renewable energy on the OCS takes shape, the technologies to harness wind and MHK energy continue to improve. Likewise, regulations to ensure environmentally safe development of these resources are also advancing. Pacific Region Development Offshore oil drilling in the U.S. began off the California coast near Santa Barbara in 1896, when a drilling rig was erected on a pier that extended approximately 300 feet from shore. Fifty-one years later, in 1947, the first offshore well was completed out of site of land by Kerr-McGee off the Louisiana coast. Since that time, the offshore oil and gas industry has grown, and today development is concentrated primarily on hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Mexico (Austin et al., 2004). On the Pacific OCS, oil and gas development has been limited not only by congressional moratoria, which were in place from 1982 through 2008, but also as a result of state and local opposition to offshore oil and gas development along the West Coast. However, production continues in this region on leases issued prior to 1984. Currently, there are 49 active oil and gas leases on the Pacific OCS, located roughly between Huntington Beach and Pismo Beach, along the southern California coast.
Abstract The Texas Historical Commission's (THC) Marine Archeology Program is a pioneer in state regulatory programs for the protection and management of submerged historic sites in state waters. More than 1,900 known and recorded shipwrecks are located within the 3-league (10.4 mile) demarcation that defines the state's territorial waters. Texas legislation protecting these and all other cultural resources was enacted in 1969 as a response to the salvage of a 16th century Spanish vessel at Padre Island in 1967. Since then, archeologists from the THC have participated in the excavation and/or investigation of historic vessels such as San Esteban, La Belle, and Will-o-the-Wisp. One primary responsibility of the State Marine Archeologist is the review of development projects for compliance with both state and federal regulations established to protect submerged historic and prehistoric sites. These projects include harbor works, bridge construction, and channel maintenance but are most often related to energy development efforts. More than 80 percent of the proposed projects and permit applications reviewed by the State Marine Archeologist are for petroleum and gas pipeline and well construction projects. The Antiquities Code of Texas and the Texas Administrative Code (Title 13, Part 2, Chapter 26 and Chapter 28) govern how marine projects located within state waters are conducted and define responsibilities, professional requirements, and technical survey specifications. Chapter 28 of the Texas Administrative Code was amended in 2008 to refine the required data collection standards as a means to improve detection of historic wooden-hulled sailing vessels. Though these were one of most common vessels along the Texas coast prior to the mid-19th century, they are infrequently discovered and therefore most likely to be adversely affected. This paper will discuss state and federal regulations that protect submerged cultural resources, the history behind these regulatory actions and the state lease tract codes. It will also provide an overview of the permit application and review process. Introduction There are more than 4,000 estimated shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico; 75 to 80 percent of these wrecks are believed to lie within 6.2 miles of the coastline (Garrison et al. 1989:85, 118; Pearson et al. 2003). The state of Texas itself has more than 1,900 shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico and navigable state waters, including both reported wrecks and recorded archeological sites. The territorial water of Texas extends 10.4 miles into the Gulf, greater than all 50 states except the west coast of Florida, which is also 10.4 miles. Texas' Gulf coverage is approximately 5,363 square miles of water. The THC's Marine Archeology Program is responsible for the management of cultural resources in state waters and for the review of maritime-based state and federal project work related to compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas/Texas Administrative Code and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. As part of this process, the THC reviews proposed projects such as channel improvement, dredging, and maintenance; oil and liquid natural gas (LNG) work; bridge construction, replacement, and expansion; marina and dock construction; and harbor improvements. More than 80 percent of the proposed projects and permit applications reviewed by the Marine Archeology Program are related to oil and LNG work.
Abstract In consultation with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, every Federal agency is responsible for developing an effective historic preservation program. The purpose of this program is to identify, evaluate, and nominate historic properties to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), provide protection of historic properties, under the jurisdiction or control of the agency as well as those properties not under the auspices of the agency but subject to be potentially affected by agency-permitted actions. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) also requires that agency preservation-related activities are carried out in consultation with other Federal, State, and local agencies, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO), and the private sector, and that the procedures for compliance with Section 106 of the Act be consistent with regulations issued by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Furthermore, the Act stipulates that an agency may not grant assistance, a license or permit to an applicant who damages or destroys a historic property with the intent of avoiding the requirements of Section 106. This paper will discuss the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's (BOEMRE) Historic Preservation Program in the Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR), and highlight how the agency conducts its regulatory responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act with respect to oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Introduction The Department of the Interior's (DOI), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), is the federal agency responsible for overseeing the safe and environmentally responsible development of energy and mineral resouces on the Outer Continetal Shelf (OCS). As such, the BOEMRE is responsible for Historic Preservation throughout the Federal waters on the OCS. Historic Preservation Every Federal agency is responsible for developing an effective historic preservation program in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. These Federal historic preservation programs shall be coordinated by each agency's Federal Preservation Officer. The preservation and use of historic properties and their careful consideration in agency planning and decision making are in the public interest, are consistent with the declaration of policy set forth in the NHPA, and must be a fundamental part of the mission of any Federal Agency (NPS and ACHP 1998).