MMS plans Virginia offshore environmental research workshop

The US Minerals Management Service will sponsor a workshop Dec. 3-4 in Williamsburg on environmental research needs arising from potential offshore oil and gas leasing off Virginia's coast.

Dec. 3-4: The US Minerals Management Service will sponsor a workshop to consider and identify environmental research needs in support of potential offshore oil and gas activities off the coast of Virginia. The workshop, hosted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, will be held at the Williamsburg Woodlands Conference Center in Williamsburg.

Why it matters: The workshop will present current scientific information about the marine environment off Virginia's coast, where MMS has tentatively scheduled an oil and gas lease sale during 2011. Participants will be invited to suggest additional needs to be addressed. Presentations by local scientists will address the areas of physical oceanography, fish and fisheries, marine mammals, socioeconomics and other relevant subjects.

Workshop objectives include reviewing the status of environmental and socioeconomic information for offshore Virginia; developing recommendations for a plan of research; and exploring the potential for interdisciplinary research programs. Proceedings, which will be released through the MMS Environmental Studies Program, will include suggested future studies.

The workshop will run from 8:25 to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. Registration is available on-site from 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 3 and 4 and in advance online at

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