In June 2011, the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS) Region of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) contracted with ICF International (ICF) to conduct a study of coastal and submerged site potential in and adjacent to the POCS. This report is the latest in a series of similar baseline reports that evaluate the archaeological potential of the POCS and other regions managed by BOEM. For this study, the POCS study area consists of a 1-mile-wide strip of land along the coast stretching from the United States (U.S.)/Canadian border to the U.S./Mexican border and extending westward 200 miles to the end of the offshore planning area or the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This differs from most previous studies, which did not extend inland, and the Atlantic OCS study, which extended only 0.25 mile inland from the coast. Extending the width of the coastal resources study area is intended to capture a greater number of onshore historic archaeological and built properties, and traditional cultural properties (TCPs), that might be subject to direct or indirect impacts resulting from offshore development.
The results of this study will be used in the evaluation of future exploration, development, and transportation plans for offshore energy projects. The identification of significant archaeological sites, TCPs, built environment resources, shipwrecks, and potential culturally sensitive submerged landforms will assist BOEM in determining specific resources or areas of sensitivity that offshore development may directly or indirectly impact.
The ICF team implemented three approaches to identify sites and site potential on the POCS: (1) developed paleolandscape reconstructions to help predict submerged prehistoric site locations, (2) conducted research and outreach to identify significant coastal properties, and (3) conducted research and outreach to collect information on shipwrecks located in the POCS.