Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (GoMMAPPS)

Lead PI: Dr. Rebecca Green, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Start Year: 2017 | Duration: 4 years
Partners: BOEM, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, USFWS Southeast Region & USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center


Improved information is needed on living marine resource abundance, distribution, habitat use, and behavior in the Gulf of Mexico to properly mitigate and monitor for potential impacts of human activities, including related to offshore energy development. Understanding of cumulative impacts on protected species in the Gulf from both natural and anthropogenic forcing is required to inform NEPA documents and consultations and rulemaking related to Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), as well as other statues that govern bureau activities. The results of this study will provide important information to inform both BOEM and BSEE regulatory needs, as well as other agencies and stakeholders involved in effective management and conservation of Gulf protected species.

The core of the GoMMAPPS program is to conduct broad-scale surveys to assess species distribution and abundance for marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds from near shore to the U.S. EEZ in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Key tasks include: (1) Conducting aerial surveys over continental shelf waters, (2) Conducting ship-board surveys on the shelf and out to EEZ, (3) Conducting satellite tracking of tagged animal, (4) Performing genetic analyses for composition and connectivity, and (5) Developing spatially- and temporally-explicit species density models.

 

Learn more about GoMMAPPS on BOEM’s project website.