Costs to permit Marine Energy projects are poorly understood. In this paper we examine environmental compliance and permitting costs for 19 projects in the U.S., covering the last 2 decades. Guided discussions were conducted with developers over a 3-year period to obtain historical and ongoing project cost data relative to environmental studies (e.g., baseline or pre-project site characterization as well as post-installation effects monitoring), stakeholder outreach, and mitigation, as well as qualitative experience of the permitting process. Data are organized in categories of technology type, permitted capacity, pre- and post-installation, geographic location, and funding types. We also compare our findings with earlier logic models created for the Department of Energy (i.e., Reference Models). Environmental studies most commonly performed were for Fish and Fisheries, Noise, Marine Habitat/Benthic Studies and Marine Mammals. Studies for tidal projects were more expensive than those performed for wave projects and the range of reported project costs tended to be wider than ranges predicted by logic models. For eight projects reporting full project costs, from project start to FERC or USACE permit, the average amount for environmental permitting compliance was 14.6%.