Photo: BOEM

CSA to examine GoM sensitive habitats

BOEM has selected CSA to review survey data to identify and describe potential hard-bottom areas in US Gulf of Mexico.

While much of the GoM seafloor is a soft sediment, there are also hard substrate habitats across the shelf.

These hardbottom habitats are often high in biodiversity and biomass, and are sensitive to disturbance.

BOEM is looking into hardbottom habitats in order to avoid or mitigate potential impacts to these benthic resources.

To improve this understanding, CSA’s team of geophysical experts will be working in close coordination with the BOEM project team to review survey data to identify and describe potential hardbottom areas.

BOEM will use the results of potential hardbottom habitat locations to improve and update maps used for decision-making.

CSA has worked with BSEE and BOEM since the 1980s.

The company provided a range of services for projects involving energy and mineral resources on the US Outer Continental Shelf.

Specific to this project, CSA’s team members have experience designing and collecting survey data.

The data is collected using side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profilers, multibeam echosounders, and 2D and 3D seismic technologies.

CSA also reviews geophysical survey products, maps, and reports based on bathymetry, backscatter, and amplitude data, and interprets survey products to extract information on seafloor characteristics, including sediment texture and the presence of hard-bottom habitat, other sensitive habitats such as seagrasses and oysters, and archaeological features.

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