Tools and methods are needed to identify Environmental Resource Areas (ERAs) for marine mammals, cetaceans, terrestrial mammals and other biological resources to support the assessment of potential impacts from outer continental shelf oil- and gas-related activities in the Cook Inlet.
goal of this study is to establish a consistent foundation for developing and refining ERAs used for oil spill risk analysis.
It will build on current efforts focused on seabirds and forage fish by synthesizing existing data for other biological resources and habitat areas in Alaska’s Cook Inlet region.
This study will collate and refine biological inventories for Alaska’s Cook Inlet region by compiling data from state, federal, private sector, and academia sources.
Researchers will engage with representatives from communities in the Cook Inlet region and other entities (Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf Watch Alaska, National Park Service, etc.) who may be conducting marine biological monitoring activities.
Researchers will consider various advanced modeling techniques to identify the most appropriate methods for providing BOEM with data products to evaluate the distribution, habitat use, density/abundance and temporal timing of biological resources.
As appropriate, statisticians, data management specialists, oceanographers, or specialists in passive acoustics or aerial surveys will be consulted for additional input regarding advanced data analyses.