Continental Shelves Essay

1146 Words 5 Pages
Continental shelves are the gently sloping areas of the ocean floor, contiguous to the continent, that extend from the coastline to the shelf-break (9. Rapid response). The continental shelf is an important oceanic zone that has many resources and vital habitats for marine life. Some of the resources and minerals found there are silica, phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen and petroleum. Plants and algae make continental shelves rich feeding grounds for marine creatures. The continental shelves are packed with resources made up from dissolved biological material. Once the marine life has passed, it falls to the ocean floor where it is covered up by sediment and rock. As millions of years go by, the organisms that were covered and trapped between porous …show more content…
Not only does this process hurt the ocean floor, but it disrupts the life that thrives there as well. Offshore oil and gas exploration happens far away from land at distances that require state of the art inspection systems in order to monitor the performance of the mechanics (7. Deepwater offshore oil pg.279). Oil developments are overseen with defense against accidents and spillage, the prevention of introducing invasive species, and with zoning to protect sensitive and endangered habitats from unwanted development. Self regulation in the corporate aspect without effective governmental supervision will not greatly decrease the risk of accidents within the offshore oil exploration industry, neither will it ensure that corporations prepare effectively to respond to a major …show more content…
Department of the Interior responsible for managing development of the nation 's offshore resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. The BOEM is responsible for many things, such as executing procedures according to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). The regulations of the BSEE (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) orders the lease or right-of-way, other applicable laws, and regulations(4. BOEM regulations). They are responsible for all activities related to financial assurance. Oil spill financial responsibility requirements are mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and all oil-spill related activities, except for financial responsibility, will fall under BSEE, under its responsibility for oil-spill response (4. BOEM regulations). Minimizing conflicts between the exploration in different regions, development, and production of oil and natural gas, and the recovery of other resources is breaking new ground (5. Congressional

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