The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, USA) and the State of New Hampshire have signed a two-year cooperative agreement totalling USD200,000 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.
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 this 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.
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 centre 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 scientific expertise to the understanding of ocean resources for the state, region and nation.
Since Hurricane Sandy struck, BOEM has been working with the U.S. 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 analyse the needs for coastal restoration and to develop restoration plans.