About Ocean, Great Lakes and Coastal Activities

What we do

Sec. Jewell viewing downed trees on the shoreline

Interior provides public access to our Nation’s seashores, refuges, parks and monuments in coastal and marine environments. Interior staff promote ocean literacy through interpretive and educational opportunities, and work to increase appreciation and understanding of natural resources.

Interior collaborates, coordinates with and supports other Federal agencies, Tribes, states and a wide array of partners and programs to work across political boundaries and through community engagement to promote health, reduce risk and support sustainable resources and resilient watersheds.

Interior uses science-based and adaptive management approaches to increase our understanding of natural resources and inform their responsible use, conservation and management so that they are able to adapt to changing conditions.

Interior conducts diverse scientific and resource monitoring programs through extensive ocean, Great Lakes and Coastal research coordinated with other Federal agencies and non-federal partners.

Interior experts provide data, tools and information to inform and support multiple levels of leaders and decision makers so they can manage upland watersheds, coastal and estuarine ecosystems, continental shelf and deep ocean environments and the natural and cultural resources that exist in them.

Managing, protecting and providing access to: 

  • 34 million acres in 88 marine and coastal National Parks,
  • More than 35,000 miles of coastline,
  • More than 473,000,000 square miles in Pacific Parks, Monuments and National Wildlife Refuges managed through interagency partnerships and agreements,
  • 180 marine and coastal National Wildlife Refuges,
  • Energy, mineral and aggregate resource development on 2.3 billion underwater acres of the Outer Continental Shelf,
  • 1,100 miles of coastline of the California Coastal National Monument,
  • Nearly all Federal land, and the majority of all land in the U.S. Arctic.

Interior Bureaus:

  • Provide robust scientific programs that inform decisions and reduce risk,
  • Ensure safe and responsible development of natural, mineral and energy resources,
  • Promote healthy and productive ecosystems through informed management and monitoring,
  • Protect native species and their habitats,
  • Preserve rich cultural and recreational opportunities for the public, and
  • Support Tribal, state, regional and local partnerships.

BLM SealThe Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages coastal and shoreline resources on public lands along the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. BLM works with a variety of partners to conserve, restore, and enhance a broad range of coastal and marine habitats to sustain biological diversity, provide recreational opportunities, and protect cultural and historic resources. The California Coastal National Monument is an example of BLM’s commitment to protect unique habitats for marine dependent wildlife, seabirds, and rare plants while providing scenic and recreational opportunities for millions of visitors from around the world. In the east, Jupiter inlet in Florida offers visitors a trail and boardwalk though native and restored Florida coastal habitats, while several hundred BLM-managed islands in Wisconsin offer access to the Great Lakes. In Alaska, vast stretches of coast protect marine and terrestrial ecosystems and support subsidence lifestyles for a variety of native peoples. https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html
Frontiers: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/frontiers.htm

BIA SealThe Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) supports a wide variety of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes activities and programs that help tribes and Alaska Natives manage coastal and cultural resources.

BOEM SealBureau of Ocean Energy Management

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages the exploration and development of the nation's offshore energy and mineral resources. The Bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through responsible management of offshore conventional and renewable energy development based on the best available science. http://www.boem.gov/

Ocean Science: http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Library/Ocean-Science/Ocean-Science.aspx
Science Notes: http://www.boem.gov/Science-Notes/

BSEE SealThe Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Bureau of Safety and Energy Enforcement (BSEE) is responsible for overseeing the safe and environmentally responsible development of our Nation's traditional and renewable ocean energy and mineral resources. BSEE works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement. http://www.bsee.gov/

NPS SealThe National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) manages ocean, Great Lakes and Coastal parks across 22 states and four territories. Established for their beauty and national significance, these parks conserve over 11,000 miles of coast and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lakes waters, including coral reefs, kelp forests, glaciers, estuaries, beaches, wetlands, historic forts and shipwrecks. The ocean and coastal parks comprise a system of diverse biological, recreational and historic value to the nation. They attract over 88 million visits each year and provide educational opportunities to build public awareness of these resources. NPS has adopted strategies to increase the agency's organizational and scientific capacity to address ocean and coastal issues in partnership with state and federal agencies and local organizations. Together these partnerships are working to address multiple threats to natural and cultural resources from inside and outside of park boundaries that include: intense population growth and development, overfishing, climate change, pollution and watershed degradation, shoreline impacts from infrastructure and sea-level rise, invasive species and recreational overuse of park resources.

OIA SealThe Office of Insular Affairs

The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is working with the U.S.-affiliated insular areas to protect coral reefs.  Through the Micronesia Challenge, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands committed to protect at least 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.

FWS SealU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages the National Wildlife Refuge System which includes 181 refuges that protect ocean, Great Lakes and Coastal environments. From above the Arctic Circle to south of the Equator, the Refuge System protects an incredible diversity of marine and coastal ecosystems within the U.S. and U.S. territories, including salt marshes, rocky shorelines, tide pools, sandy beaches, kelp forests, mangroves, seagrass meadows, barrier islands, estuaries, lagoons, tidal creeks, tropical coral atolls, as well as open ocean. Within the Refuge System, the Coastal Program is a voluntary habitat conservation program that uses science-based conservation design to address the conservation priorities of the Service and our partners, and to provide effective stewardship of the nation's coastal and estuarine natural resources.

Refuge Update: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/refugeUpdate/
Eddies-Reflections on Fisheries Conservation: http://www.fws.gov/eddies/

USGS LogoU.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) works closely with academic institutions, states, Tribes, and other Federal agencies to advance science and technology in support of Interior's varied responsibilities. USGS research, monitoring, mapping and data management supports increased understanding of coastal and ocean systems, human and wildlife health, and landscape-scale change.

Sound Waves: http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/