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Soundings Archive

MMS Places Alaska Environmental Studies Plan Online
The U.S. Minerals Management Service has placed online its current plan for performing environmental studies in the Alaska offshore region. Many of these studies involve marine mammals. MMS states that its Environmental Studies Plan "is guided by several broad themes, which include the following:

  • Monitoring Marine Environments
  • Conducting Oil-Spill Fate and Effects Research
  • Understanding Social and Economic Impacts
  • Maintaining Efficient and Effective Information Management
  • Minimizing Seismic and acoustic Impacts"
One interesting new study is entitled "Field Experiments of seismic effects on commercial Fish and Crab in the North Aleutian Basin." This study is scheduled to be performed during FY 2010-2012. Its purpose is "to assess potential effects of seismic activity on high value commercial fisheries and the ecosystem functions of the affected fisheries resources."

Another interesting study is "Pinneped Movements and foraging." This ongoing study has a period of performance of 2007-2012. Its purpose is to determine whether walruses, bearded seals and other pinnepeds' foraging habits are adversely affected now that melting sea ice is forcing them to migrate closer to oil and gas activities.
  • Click here to read MMS' Alaska Environmental Studies Plan

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