Online Tool Serves Up Ocean Science Studies

More than 40 years of mapped environmental reports, data sets available to aid in ocean planning.

Humpback whales in the waters of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

An Ocean of Information

Easily find decades of ocean science studies on topics ranging from whales to wind energy with the Environmental Studies Program Information System.

Updates to BOEM's Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS) tool, hosted by NOAA's Digital Coast, now enable users to search, filter, map, discover, and download more than 40 years of studies and related data that can provide critical information for ocean plans and decisions.

This interactive tool was devised by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and NOAA to provide faster data searches and more offerings than were possible with previous ESPIS versions.

"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. "

Search for environmental studies by map, keyword, or specific location. Filter studies by year, region, best match, title, and status.

"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 (ESP) has collected since 1973," says Rodney Cluck, chief of the Division of Environmental Sciences at BOEM

ESPIS can now be accessed directly from BOEM's ESP as well as the jointly created BOEM-NOAA 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 inform policy decisions affecting the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, an offshore area outside state jurisdiction that includes submerged lands, subsoil, and seabed.   

Users now can search for environmental studies by map, keyword, or specific location. Studies can be filtered and sorted by year, region, best match, title, and status as completed or ongoing. Links to related publications and data are also provided. The tool can be accessed from desktop or mobile platforms.

All BOEM and NOAA ESP reports are available as electronic pdf documents complete with images and graphics. The reports and companion technical summaries are full-text searchable.

Environmental Studies Program Information System Online Tool
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The ESPIS search tool is hosted on a shared platform with, an integrated marine information system that provides authoritative, up-to-date data, tools, and technical support for ocean and Great Lakes planning.

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