The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is a bureau of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) charged with managing and regulating oil, gas, and renewable energy projects on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). On a national level, the MMS manages various collaborative research efforts with Alaskan implications, including the Technology Assessment and Research (TA&R) Program.
Summaries of various TA&R projects can be found at http://www.mms.gov/tarprojectcategories/.
In 1974, the DOI initiated the Alaskan Environmental Studies Program (ESP), a research program focused on gathering and synthesizing environmental, social, and economic information to support decision making for the offshore oil and gas program. The ESP has conducted a wide range of research in Alaska to assist in evaluating potential environmental impacts associated with OCS oil and gas development. Historically, the ESP has funded more than $320 million in Alaska, producing more than 400 study reports. A comprehensive list of completed studies since 1993 can be found at www.mms.gov/alaska/ess/completedstudieslist/complete.pdf.
Annually, the ESP develops new research projects through a systematic process involving stakeholder input and scientific peer review. The most recent plan, Alaska Annual Studies Plan Final FY 2010, summarizes current ongoing research as well as proposed future research for 2011 and 2012, and can be found at http://www.mms.gov/alaska/ess/essp/sp2010.pdf.1
For more information on the Alaska Region, visit the Alaska OCS Region website.