- Call for Proposals & Abstracts: State of Science 2024
Proposals for symposia and slide meetings, and abstracts for oral and poster presentations are now being accepted for the State of Science 2024 workshop taking place on July 16-19, 2024. Submissions are accepted until January 26, 11:59 p.m. ET. More information can be found here.
- Governor Hochul announces largest state investment in renewable energy in U.S. history, completing one of the actions in the State’s 10-Point Action Plan
Governor Hochul announced the release of the 10-Point Action Plan to expand and support the growing large-scale renewable energy industry in New York, reaffirming the State’s commitment to achieving the Climate Act goals. This procurement represents a significant milestone with the conditionally awarded projects including three new offshore wind projects and 22 large-scale, land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts – enough to power 2.6 million homes in New York. The three new offshore wind projects will result in 4,032 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2 million homes. The 10-Point Action Plan outlines a comprehensive set of actions being taken to lay the foundation for a sustainable future for all New Yorkers through the expansion of the State’s growing clean energy economy and renewable energy sector.
- Save the Date: State of the Science 2024 Taking an Ecosystem Approach Integrating Offshore Wind, Wildlife, and Fisheries
On behalf of the Offshore Wind Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is pleased to announce that the next State of the Science Workshop on Offshore Wind Energy, Wildlife, and Fisheries will be held July 16-19, 2024 on Long Island.
- NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule to Implement the Prohibition of Commercial Fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument
NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on defining the boundary coordinates of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument area and reflecting the prohibition on commercial fishing in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act regulations. Click here for more information. The Proposed Rule can be found here.
- Release: Recommendations for Regional Environmental Research
An expert committee of the New York State Offshore Wind Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) has released guidance for conducting regional environmental research and monitoring efforts in relation to offshore wind energy development. These recommendations are intended to support environmental research in the U.S. Atlantic, but have broad applicability to research efforts in all regions of offshore wind development. The guidance was developed with extensive stakeholder feedback. Recommendations can be found here.
- Surface and subsurface oceanographic features drive forage fish distributions and aggregations: Implications for prey availability to top predators in the US Northeast Shelf ecosystem
Forage fishes are a critical food web link in marine ecosystems, aggregating in a hierarchical patch structure over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Existing survey and analysis methods are often imperfect for studying forage fishes at scales appropriate to foraging predators, making it difficult to quantify predator–prey interactions. In this study, Bayesian joint species distribution models were applied to bottom trawl survey data to assess species- and community-level forage fish distribution patterns across the US Northeast Continental Shelf (NES) ecosystem. More information on this study can be found here.
- Technical Guidance for Offshore Wind Energy Projects in the Greater Atlantic Region
A Technical Guidance has been developed to help agencies with their analysis of the effects of proposed offshore wind projects in the Greater Atlantic Region. This information aids in BOEMs decisions regarding the impacts of offshore wind energy development and operations on endangered or threatened species, marine mammals, fisheries, marine and estuarine habitats, and fishing communities.
- NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Technical Assistance on Protected Species Best Management Practices and Risk Reduction Measures for Fisheries Surveys and Monitoring Activities to Support Offshore Wind Energy Projects Development
This technical document provides information and recommendations to offshore wind energy lessees/project proponents and other stakeholders for consideration when designing and implementing surveys, monitoring, or research activities targeting fish species managed by the NOAA Fisheries Service’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO).
- NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Permitting Considerations for Fisheries Surveys and Monitoring Activities to Support Offshore Wind Energy Development
Information for offshore wind energy lesees/project proponents and other stakeholders is provided in this document regarding applicable permitting considerations for surveys, monitoring, or research activities targeting fish species managed by the NOAA Fisheries Service’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO).
- Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2.6 Billion Framework Through Investing in America Agenda to Protect Coastal Communities and Restore Marine Resources
The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a $2.6 billion framework to invest in coastal climate resilience through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. As part of the President’s Investing in America Agenda, this initiative will support communities and people on the frontlines of climate change, dedicating nearly $400 million specifically for Tribal priorities and benefiting coastal and Great Lakes communities nationwide with an emphasis on environmental justice. Additional investments from the Inflation Reduction Act will improve weather and climate data and services, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s America the Beautiful conservation initiative, and strengthen NOAA’s fleet of research airplanes and ships that are used to study and collect data about the ocean and atmosphere.
- Science Priorities for Offshore Wind and Fisheries Research in the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Ecosystem: Perspectives from Scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service
Offshore wind development (OWD) is set to expand rapidly in the United States as a component of the nation’s effort to combat climate change. Offshore wind development in the United States is slated to begin in the Greater Atlantic region, where it is expected to interact with ocean ecology, human dimensions, fisheries data collections, and fisheries management. Understanding these interactions is key to ensuring the coexistence of offshore wind energy with sustainable fisheries and a healthy marine ecosystem. To view the full publication, click here.
- Fisheries and Offshore Wind Interactions: Synthesis of Science
There is a need to synthesize current and past scientific research that has examined the interactions between OSW, fisheries, and the marine ecosystems due to the rapid pace and broad scope of offshore wind development. NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have partnered with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) to identify the topics critical for consideration in relation to offshore wind. The Synthesis of Science report discussing these topics can be found here.
- Potential Repercussions of Offshore Wind Energy Development in the Northeast United States for the Atlantic Surfclam Survey and Population Assessment
The Atlantic surfclam is among the most exposed to offshore wind development impacts due to the overlap of fishing grounds with wind energy lease areas, the hydraulic dredges used by the fishing vessels, and the location of vessel home ports relative to fishing grounds. The development of offshore wind turbines could limit or prevent vessel access, safety requirements, and assessment survey protocols during the Atlantic surfclam federal assessment survey. The impact of excluding the federal assessment survey from wind energy lease areas on the Atlantic surfclam population biomass assessment was investigated in the recently published paper found here.
- BOEM Announces Initial Members of the Committee for Offshore Wind Energy and Fisheries
BOEM has identified members of a new standing committee on offshore wind energy and fisheries, a committee intended to improve its engagement and communication with the fishing community on offshore wind energy activities.
- Nine Atlantic Coast States Release Request for Information to Inform Establishment of a Regional Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Fund Administrator
In support of sustaining a vibrant fishing community that can coexist and thrive alongside offshore wind energy development, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have released a Request for Information (RFI) aimed at receiving input from impacted members of the fishing industry, offshore wind developers, corporate and financial management entities, as well as interested members of the public, to inform efforts to establish a regional fisheries compensatory mitigation fund administrator. This regional fund administrator would provide financial compensation for economic loss from offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast.
- Environmental and Fisheries Research to Support Offshore Wind Development
NYSERDA is seeking independent research through the Program Opportunity Notice (PON). This research will help NYSERDA achieve responsible and cost-effective offshore wind development as it advances New York State’s nation-leading goal – mandated by The Climate Act – to generate 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. A better understanding of potential interactions with the environment and fisheries will support responsible development, increase awareness of stakeholder concerns, and help NYSERDA identify and reduce risks before accelerating offshore wind project development.
- BOEM and NOAA Announce Joint Strategy on Fisheries Surveys
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries are announcing a joint strategy to address the potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on NOAA Fisheries’ scientific surveys. The Federal Survey Mitigation Strategy underscores the agencies’ shared commitment to the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals of responsibly advancing offshore wind energy production while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. More information on this joint strategy and its goals can be found here.
- Sampling high biomass but rare benthic animals: Methods for surveying commercial clam stocks using a hydraulic dredge
Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs are large-bodied clams that inhabit the continental shelf of the MidAtlantic. Their abundance is not dominant in the benthic community, and they have a patchy distribution. Sampling and survey strategies need to be carefully tailored to clams to prevent undersampling or possible bias in surveys. More information on this topic can be found here.
- BOEM Releases Central Atlantic Draft Wind Energy Areas
BOEM released eight draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Central Atlantic that will cover 1.7 million acres offshore North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. A map of the region can be found here. A 30-day comment period was initiated on February 16, 2022 and will end on December 16, 2022. More information on this draft can be found here.
- RWSC Final 2022 Subcommittee Meetings
The Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC) will host the final subcommittee meetings for 2022 over the next few weeks. Information on RWSC can be found here. The meetings will be focusing on reviewing draft Science Plan content. All meetings are open to the public and recorded:
- Sea Turtle Subcommittee, November 15, 10-12pm ET
- Bird and Bat Subcommittee, November 29, 10-12pm ET
- Marine Mammal Subcommittee, November 30, 9:30-11:30am ET
- Habitat and Ecosystem Subcommittee, December 1, 1-3pm ET
- Empire Wind DEIS Released
BOEM announced the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Empire Wind. This Project is a 2,076 MW offshore wind project that could power over 700,000 homes in New York. A 60-day comment period began on November 13, 2022 and will include three public meetings: Wednesday December 7 at 5 pm, Tuesday December 13 at 5 pm, and Thursday December 15 at 1 pm. This comment period ends on January 17, 2023. More information on the DEIS can be found here.
- Ecological Concrete Scour Protection For Offshore Wind Deployed – A HOLCIM US & Econcrete Joint Project
In coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Holcim US and ECOcrete have successfully deployed the Droplock Ecological Scour Protection 12 miles off the shore of Long Island, NY. This project provides ecological scour protection to offshore wind projects using a novel concrete unit that requires 30% less material, minimizes native habitat degradation, and supports ecological uplift in offshore wind projects. More information on the project can be found here.
- Protecting North Atlantic Right Whales During Offshore Wind Energy Development
- New York Bight Offshore Wind Farms: Collaborative Development of Strategies and Tools to Address Commercial Fishing Access
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, and Global Marine Group, LLC prepared a report discussing the development of technical strategies and tools to minimize the disruption to commercial fishing, while also ensuring economical energy generation and safe operations for the developers and for mariners training in and around the offshore wind arrays. The full report can be found here.
- New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils and Partners Launch Habitat Data Explorer; One-Stop Tool Ready for Use
The Northeast Regional Habitat Assessment Data Explorer was launched by New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils and Partners that allows users to explore information on fish distribution and survey abundance, species life history, essential fish habitat (EFH), fish vulnerability to climate change, and more. More information on the Data Explorer can be found here.
- Third Offshore Wind Solicitation
The release of New York’s third competitive offshore wind solicitation was announced on July 27, 2022 by Governor Hochul. This would allow for renewable, clean energy to power at least 1.5 million New York homes. This third offshore wind solicitation further ensures New York will achieve its State’s Climate Act mandate to secure 70 percent of the State’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and at least 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. More information on the solicitation can be found here.
- Proposed Designation of Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary
The Wildlife Conservation Society submitted a nomination for the designation of the Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The public is invited to participate in the initial process of this designation through the community-based Sanctuary Nomination Process. More information on the benefits of this sanctuary can be found here.
- Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Announces Environmental Review of Six Wind Lease Areas Offshore New York and New Jersey
BOEM has announced that it will conduct a regional environmental review of six lease areas in the New York Bight – this will be the first regional analysis for offshore wind that will contain multiple lease areas. BOEM will publish an NOI to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on July 15th, which will initiate a 30-day comment period.
- Save The Date: Meetings on Draft Guidance on Mitigation Impacts from Offshore Wind Projects on Fisheries
In June, BOEM will be holding four meetings in consultation with NMFS and affected coastal states to discuss draft guidance for ways to mitigate impacts from offshore wind projects on commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing.
Meeting information and registration can be found here.
- Sea Grant, DOE, NOAA Fisheries fund six projects for the coexistence of offshore energy with Northeast fishing and coastal communities
The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium—in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center—today announced six projects to advance social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the Northeast United States. More information on the selected projects can be found here.
June 24, 2022
On June 24, 2022, BOEM published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Ocean Wind 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Ocean Wind, LLC’s Proposed Wind Energy Facility Offshore New Jersey. The NOA initiates a 45-day public comment period that ends August 8th, 2022 at 11:59 pm.
For more information regarding the virtual public hearing and the dates it will be held, refer here.
June 24, 2022
In July, BOEM will hold four public meetings in consultation with NFMS and affected coastal states to discuss draft guidance for ways to mitigate impacts from offshore wind projects on commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing.
Dates and meeting information can be found here.
June 23, 2022
BOEM has standardized its process for identifying alternatives in its draft Evironemtnal Impact Statements (EISs) for all Offshore Wind Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) received from lessees.