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NOAA, BOEM upgrade access to 40 years of ocean environmental data

February 25, 2016 NOAA, as part of its effort to improve access to a vast trove of environmental data, has made it easier for the public to search, filter, map, discover, and download more than 40 years of studies and related data.
The enhanced ESPIS database includes studies about how electromagnetic fields from undersea power cables affect species such as the manta ray (shown here).

Through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s upgraded Environmental Studies Program Information System, hosted by NOAA’s Digital Coast, users can access data that can provide critical information for ocean plans and decisions that can help support a data-driven economy.

“Our two agencies partnered on this tool update because it advances a mutual goal—making ocean-related science as accessible as possible,” says Dave Stein, a geographer with the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. “These studies are important to people involved in ocean conservation, species protection, sand and gravel management for coastal restoration, oil and gas development, offshore renewable energy, shipping and fishing industries, and other sectors.”

“BOEM first began planning this interactive tool more than five years ago. Its release revolutionizes the way people can access the wealth of ocean science information that the Environmental Studies Program has collected since 1973,” said Rodney Cluck, chief of the division of environmental sciences at BOEM.  

The upgraded data can now be accessed directly from BOEM’s program as well as the joint BOEM-NOAA website MarineCadastre.gov and Digital Coast. The tool currently hosts reports from over 1,700 ocean-related studies.

All the BOEM studies cited in the database were conducted to provide decision-makers with data about the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, an offshore area outside state jurisdiction that includes submerged lands, subsoil, and seabed.   

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Contacts:
NOAA - Donna McCaskill, donna.mccaskill@noaa.gov, 843-740-1272
BOEM – Marjorie Weisskohl, marjorie.weisskohl@boem.gov, 703-787-1304