Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Hanna Shoal
Olgoonik/Fairweather, LLC operates the Chukchi Sea environmental studies program funded by ConocoPhillips, Shell, and Statoil. The studies program includes various disciplines of the marine ecosystem including: physical oceanography, chemical oceanography (new in 2010), plankton ecology, benthic ecology (infaunal and epibenthic communities), seabird ecology, marine mammal ecology, pelagic and demersal fisheries, and the hydroacoustic environment. The area for studies were the Chukchi Sea and land based studies are from Pt. Lay AK to north of Wainwright AK and as far inland as the Colville River. In addition to the Chukchi Sea, OLF is providing logistical support for deployment of physical oceanography and hydroacoustic instruments in support of Shell operations in the Beaufort Sea.
The overall purpose of the study is to provide clients with necessary baseline information about the marine environment in their respective lease areas that can be used in applications for permits, in a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance document, and in other documents and to help manage these resources. The study will provide valuable information for the regulatory agencies to conduct realistic evaluations on the potential impacts of oil and gas activities and thus issue permits with reasonable stipulations and guidance. It will also contribute to the overall knowledge of the Chukchi Sea marine ecosystem.
It is anticipated that future studies in the lease areas will involve additional collaborators including, but not limited to, the BOEMRE, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC), Alaska Beluga Whale Committee (ABWC), Ice Seal Commission, and Alaska Eskimo Walrus Commission.