GM-23-04: Cultural Heritage and Traditional Knowledge of Vulnerable Coastal Communities

This study initiates a collaborative effort between BOEM and the State of Louisiana to identify the effects of coastal land loss and associated archaeological and traditional cultural property (TCP) site loss on local communities, descendant communities, and Tribes.

The study will provide background

information (baselines) on specific groups identified as having been affected by archaeological and TCP site loss.

The project will provide insight into how each group and their sites have been affected in the past and how these sites may be affected in the future by ongoing coastal erosion and future offshore energy development.

Study methods include ethnographic fieldwork, focus groups, community meetings, literature reviews, data analysis, coding, expert consultation, and research group conferencing.For this project, ethnographers and other community-oriented social scientists will collect information and perspectives from stakeholder communities on the loss and potential loss of archaeological sites and TCPs due to sea-level rise, erosion, and subsidence.

The researchers will seek input on how submerged and modeled-to-be submerged sites can be managed, documented, and mitigated by State or Federal agencies.

BOEM also will consult with federally recognized Tribes and reach out to stakeholder communities, such as State governments; other Tribal governments and organizations; African American descendant communities; Southeast Asian communities; Isleños (descendents of colonial Spanish settlers in Louisiana originally from the Canary Islands); self-identifying "Creoles" and “Cajuns;” and other groups with historical and cultural ties to Louisiana’s coastal region.

Deliverables for this study include, but are not limited to, project management team meeting reports; an ethnographic cultural heritage overview report; a community engagement resource; a PowerPoint presentation; and a public-facing story map hosted on BOEM’s website.This study will provide the State of Louisiana and BOEM with the requisite data to make informed decisions on future programmatic activities.

This project also will strengthen environmental analyses and reviews by the State and Federal agencies, enhance resource management and planning, facilitate BOEM’s outreach planning and Tribal consultations, and amplify the voices of affected stakeholders in Louisiana’s coastal communities.

This research will require BOEM technical oversight and participation to assess the analyses and resolve questions regarding the National Environmental Policy Act and the overall balance of the project’s effort.

Throughout the project, BOEM and outside experts will provide input to help oversee the study and adjust fieldwork efforts as needed to ensure sufficient scope, scale, and detail meet the needs of the end user (Federal and State entities).
Agency: Department of the Interior

Office: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Estimated Funding: $925,000

Who's Eligible

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Additional Information of Eligibility:
The only eligible applicant is the University of Louisiana, Layfette (ULL) through the Gulf Coast Coastal Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU).  Cost-sharing/match is not required but is strongly encouraged.

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