US Secretary of Interior Honors BOEM Ocean Research Teams
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sally Jewell: Photo courtesy NASCC

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has presented the 'Partners in Conservation Awards' to two science teams conducting ocean research sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at a Department of the Interior ceremony.

The research involved collaboration with about two-dozen federal, academic and private sector partners over the past four years through the bureau’s Environmental Studies Program, with both projects leveraging the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, or NOPP, framework.

“The Department of the Interior is proud to recognize the accomplishments of those who are innovating and collaborating in ways that address today’s complex conservation and stewardship challenges,” Secretary Jewell said at the awards ceremony. “These partnerships represent the gold standard for how Interior is doing business across the nation to power our future, strengthen tribal nations, conserve and enhance America’s great outdoors and engage the next generation.”

One BOEM study team was honored for its work on the mid-Atlantic Canyons partnership, which resulted in several significant biological and marine archaeological discoveries. The other study involving eight components produced an extensive array of environmental protocols and monitoring tools to support offshore renewable energy planning and operations.

The mid-Atlantic canyons  study team consisted of researchers from 17 institutions. Scientists discovered abundant deep-water coral habitats off the mid-Atlantic outer continental shelf, and vast communities of deep-sea mussels that depend upon methane gas seeps for sustenance.

“Congratulations to all the people and organizations represented here today,” said BOEM Director and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Tommy P. Beaudreau. “We recognize the hard work and dedication that is required to improve our understanding of the ocean so we can develop conventional energy and expand the renewable energy frontier in an environmentally responsible manner.”

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