BOEMRE Helps State of Alaska Cope with Erosion Issues
Oil & Gas Revenues Return to State in Form of Federal Grant
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) announced it has awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to the state of Alaska through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP).
Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, CIAP provides funding to the six Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states to conserve and protect the coastal environment. CIAP is an ongoing program with grant funding that is allocated based on the offshore energy revenues collected by the United States.
"BOEM will continue to work with the state of Alaska and coastal political subdivisions to support projects that protect these valuable coastal areas for future generations," said BOEM Director Michael R. Bromwich. "This funding will help us understand how to protect the Alaska coastline."
The state of Alaska, which selected the projects being funded through CIAP, received $2.37 million to map and understand the erosion issues affecting the state and its remote communities. In 2009, the Bureau issued a $209,000 grant to help the state initiate the Geohazard Evaluation and Geologic Mapping for Coastal Communities project. This week, the Bureau amended the initial grant to fund project operations.
Using the grant funds, the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys will develop comprehensive geologic engineering and hazard maps of a select group of Alaskan coastal communities, chosen in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies. The maps will identify local natural hazards that must be considered in the siting, design, construction and operations of development projects to ensure protection of these coastal areas. These maps may also include proposed community relocation sites in response to severe coastal erosion problems now facing Alaskan communities such as Kivalina, Koyukuk, Newtok and Shismaref.
Alaska has a longer coastline - about 44,000 miles, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources - than the rest of the United States combined. About 6,600 miles of that coastline, and many low-lying areas along the state's rivers, are subject to severe erosion and flooding.
CIAP will receive $250 million in appropriated funds for each of the Fiscal Years 2007-2010 to be disbursed to six eligible Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states - Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.