Announcements

  • 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

    BOEM and NOAA Fisheries have released a draft North Atlantic right whale and offshore wind strategy aimed to protect North Atlantic right whales while responsibly developing offshore wind energy. More information on this strategy can be found here.

  • 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.

  • Upcoming Webinar on NOAA and BOEM Survey Mitigation Implementation Strategy

    On March 29, 2022 and March 30, 2022 NOAA Fisheries and BOEM will co-host two informational webinars to discuss the Draft Federal Mitigation Implementation Strategy.

    For more information on the webinar, event info and registration, click here.

  • Efforts to Mitigate Impacts of Offshore Wind Energy Development on NOAA Fisheries’ Surveys Are Underway

    NOAA Fisheries and BOEM have developed a Draft Federal Survey Mitigation Strategy to address anticipated impacts of offshore wind energy development on NOAA Fisheries’ scientific surveys. See full announcement here.

  • New York Bight lease sale concludes with $4.37 Billion in Winning Bids

    BOEM announces provisional winners of the New York Bight lease sale finalized on February 25th 2022. This is the largest single-event auction held thus far, and is the first auction under the Biden-Harris administration and collectively New York and New Jersey setting offshore energy records with $4.37 billion in winning bids. More than 480,000 acres over six lease areas, this is the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target, installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.

    Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. For more information, see the announcement or visit the New York Bight Page on the BOEM website.

  • Sunrise Wind Environmental and Fisheries Mitigation Plans

    This meeting summary describes key discussion points and action items from the Fisheries Technical Working Group (F-TWG) virtual meeting, which was held on Thursday, November 4th, 2021 through a virtual meeting platform.

  • South Fork Wind Farm begins Construction

    The South Fork Wind Farm broke ground and became the second commercial-scale wind farm in the United States to begin construction. The Project is estimated to bring 130 MW of energy to the State of New York at the end of 2023. For more information, see here.

  • Massachusetts’ First Offshore Wind Facility to be built in Somerset

    Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that the first offshore wind manufacturing facility in the state will be built in Somerset at the Brayton Point facility. The Prysmian Group has finalized an agreement to acquire a 47 acre parcel of land at the facility and will manufacture the subsea cables for Avangrid Renewables’ Commonwealth Wind project.

  • Governor Kathy Hochul: State of the State Address 2022

    On January 4th, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State Address where she announced that New York will make a nation-leading $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain to be integrated within NYSERDA’s 2022 solicitation.

    Shortly after, the Governor announced the finalization of contracts between NYSERDA and Empire Wind Offshore LLC and Beacon Wind LLC, each a 50-50 partnership between Equinor and bp, for the Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind offshore wind projects, representing a key milestone in the advancement of offshore wind development in New York State.

    For more information on the State of the State Address and the Governor’s recent announcements regarding offshore wind development in New York, see her webpage.

  • BOEM Announces Final Sale Notice for the New York Bight

    BOEM has announced that it will hold a wind auction on February 23rd for six lease areas in the New York Bight, totaling more than 480,000 acres, the largest single-event auction thus far. This will be the first auction under the Biden-Harris administration and collectively New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.

    Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. For more information, see the announcement or visit the New York Bight Page on the BOEM website.

  • Northern NYB Port Access Route Study

    The United States Coast Guard has published the Northern New York Bight Port Access Route Study (NNYBPARS). The study was conducted to evaluate the adequacy of existing vessel routing measures and determine whether additional vessel routing measures are necessary for port approaches to New York and New Jersey and international and domestic transit areas in the First Coast Guard District’s area of responsibility. To accomplish this goal, the First Coast Guard District has undertaken measures to determine whether existing or additional routing measures are necessary to improve navigation safety due to factors such as planned or potential offshore development, current port capabilities and planned improvements, increased vessel traffic, existing and potential anchorage areas, changing vessel traffic patterns, effects of weather, or navigational difficulty. The effort of conducting the NNYBPARS began in June of 2020 and was published January of 2022.

    To view the report, see the Federal Register.

  • BOEM completes Environmental Review of Offshore Wind Energy Leasing Activities in the New York

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the New York Bight. The final Environmental Assessment (EA) assessed potential impacts from the issuance of leases within nearly 800,000 acres of wind energy areas in the New York Bight. Based on the analysis in the EA, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impact. For more information, see the BOEM website.

  • Massachusetts to Purchase Power from Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind

    The Massachusetts Governor’s Office has announced that it will buy 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power from Vineyard Wind and 400 megawatts of offshore wind power from Mayflower Wind. The Vineyard Wind Project will generate 800 MW of energy, consist of 60 turbines, and will be located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Mayflower Wind will generate roughly 800 MW.

    For more information, see here.

  • BOEM Fishing Industry Communication and Outreach

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is working with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and affected coastal states to develop guidance to be used in developing plans and environmental reviews for reducing or avoiding impacts from offshore wind projects on commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing. They are taking public comments and hosting public meetings, including:

    • 12/1 – 10am ET – East Coast Workshop on Clams and Scallops (Bottom Gear)
    • 12/2 – 10am EST – East Coast Workshop on Mobile Gear/Mixed Trawl/Pelagic
    • 12/6 – 10am EST – East Coast Workshop on Fixed Gear
    • 12/7 – 10am EST – Recreational Fishing Workshop
    • 12/13 – 10am PST – West Coast Workshop
    • 12/14 – 10am EST – Developers Workshop
    • 12/15 – 10am CST – Gulf of Mexico Workshop

    To learn more about this initiative and sign-up for meetings, see the program website.

  • Regional State Letter to BOEM Regarding Fisheries Compensation

    A group of regional state partners has submitted a letter to BOEM with regard to fisheries compensation efforts to encourage the development and advancement of a fair, equitable, and transparent process. These states include Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. The States have identified topics for continued discussion with BOEM regarding its development of an efficient and effective compensatory fisheries mitigation framework. The States believe that these foundational topics require full consideration and discussion with BOEM, NOAA, and other federal agencies, as well as the fishing industry and offshore wind developers, in order to develop mutual understanding and agreement on a mitigation framework that will provide equity and certainty for affected fishing communities, state and federal agencies, and the offshore wind industry.

    To access the letter, see here.

  • Mayflower Wind Granted NOI

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Mayflower Wind Energy project. The Mayflower Wind Construction and Operations Plan is also available on the BOEM website.

    The publication in the Federal Register opened a 30-day comment, or scoping, period during which the public may identify information that the EIS should consider.   

    Three virtual public meetings will be held during the scoping period at the following dates and times (Eastern):

    • Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
    • Monday, November 15, 2021, 1:00 pm EST
    • Thursday, November 18, 2021, 5:00 pm EST

    To register for these public scoping meetings, please see the registration website.

  • American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting

    The American Fisheries Society (ASF) is hosting their annual meeting on November 6-10 in Baltimore, Maryland. This meeting has a symposium on the “Interactions Between Offshore Wind, Fisheries, and Fisheries Resources” which will examine the potential interactions of offshore wind on the Northeast U.S. shelf ecosystem, considering ecological, socio-economic, and fisheries management dimensions. 

    The first part of this 2-part symposium will report the findings from the Synthesis of the Science, a collaborative effort led by the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and  the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA).  The second part of the Symposium will focus on original research related to offshore wind and fisheries interactions.

  • Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Granted Notice of Intent

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind projects.

    The NOI as well as the Project’s Construction and Operations Plan is available on the BOEM website.

    The NOI initiates a 30-day public comment period that ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 1, 2021. During the public comment period, BOEM will be hosting three virtual scoping meetings where you can learn more about project, ask questions, and provide oral testimony.

    The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:

    • Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

    • Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET

    • Monday, October 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

    Registrations to the meetings and access to the meeting agendas is available here.

  • Final Report for the RUCOOL 2021 Partners in Science Workshop

    The Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) have issued the final report for the 2021 Partners in Science Workshop, which was hosted virtually on January 28, 2021. This workshop, Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development, included both a pre-workshop participant survey and “world café” format workshop discussions.

    The survey and workshop aimed to gather community input to define the parameters required to quantify baseline ecological variability that will enable the evaluation of potential impacts from offshore wind development. The report details results from the pre-workshop survey, presentations from several workshop participants, and the multiple breakout sessions held during this half-day workshop.

Ocean Wind 1 NOA

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.

Reducing or Avoiding Impacts of Offshore Wind Energy on Fisheries

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.

BOEM Standardizes Process for Environmental Reviews of Offshore Wind Construction and Operations Plans

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.

More information on BOEM’s standardization process for the finalized document can be found here. The finalized document can be found on BOEM’s website here.

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