Offshore Oil and Gas Activity Impacts on Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Mexico

David Dismukes. Funded by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Louisiana Coastal Marine Institute. Project Funding: $240,982.

The project will estimate the impacts of the offshore oil and gas industry on three critical ecosystem services: commercial fishing, recreation, and storm surge.  A series of literature reviews will be conducted of the ecosystem services valuation literature relevant to storm surge mitigation, commercial fishing, and recreation and tourism.  A database of these studies will be produced.

The project will use existing modeling tools to forecast the future impacts of the offshore energy industry given alternative policy scenarios.  These policy scenarios will be informed by BOEM five-year planning Environmental Impact Statements, especially related to predicted oil spill frequencies and quantities, predicted platform installation and decommissioning, and predicted anthropogenic noise impacts.

The project will include a review of the academic and grey literature for case studies of areas in which an ecosystem services approach to management has been implemented and discuss potential challenges.