Ocean Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Project

Project Description
The Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP,
1975-1985), was a program funded through the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop
baseline data in anticipation of oil development on Alaska's
Continental Shelf. The need for comprehensive geographic data
on the pelagic distribution of seabirds in Alaska and the
North Pacific has long been recognized. During the OCSEAP
Program millions of dollars were spent to gather data on the
pelagic distributions of marine birds and mammals on the
continental shelves. Ancillary data were routinely collected
on environmental conditions (e.g., ice, temperature,
salinity). This work culminated in an atlas on the "Pelagic
Distribution and Abundance of Seabirds in the Gulf of Alaska
and Eastern Bering Sea" (Gould et al. 1982), which documented
the at-sea distribution and abundance of 16 common seabird
species in Alaska. In addition to this work, extensive reports
by other key investigators! laid the foundation for our
understanding of the pelagic biology and distribution of
seabirds in Alaska. A current version of the OCSEAP database
includes 248 data files, comprising >60,000 standard transects
with >325,000 records that document the environment,
distribution and group size of >4,000,000 animals.

Project Contact:

John Piatt (USGS)Project Leader
fratercula@yahoo.com

For more information,
link to http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/NPPSD/OCSEAP_database.htm

[Summary provided by NPPSD]