- New England and Mid-Atlantic commercially permitted vessels to submit electronic trip reports
NOAA will require commercially permitted vessels and fire-hire vessels in both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council regions to submit vessel trip reports electronically within 48 hours of the end of a trip.
- Final Vineyard Wind EIS delayed by BOEM
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has delayed the release of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for Vineyard Wind until December 11. The Record of Decision is now expected on January 15, 2021.
- BOEM Releases Ocean Alert App
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released an app for megafaunal sightings. Citizens can use Ocean Alert to upload images, sightings and other species information to the app, which seamlessly stores the data for resource managers. The free app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Ocean Alert is part of BOEM’s larger effort to harness citizen science – data voluntarily collected by the public and shared with scientists – for various research projects.
- FREE COVID-19 Testing and Flu Shots Available at Pier 3, New Bedford
The Southcoast Health Wellness Van will be offering free COVID-19 testing and free flu shots on Pier 3 in New Bedford throughout the months of November and December. Essential workers in the fishing industry and all family members are welcome. Dates and times for these services can be accessed here.
- Rhode Island’s 600 MW Offshore Wind Solicitation
The State of Rhode Island announced a new competitive solicitation to procure up to 600 MW of offshore wind energy. This solicitation moves the state closer to its goal of 100% renewables by 2030. The Request for Proposals (RFP) will be developed by National Grid with oversight from the state Office of Energy Resources.
- RODA Fisheries Synthesis of the Science Workshop Recordings
The Synthesis of the Science Workshop sessions from October 15th and 16th have been recorded and posted to YouTube.
- ROSA publishes Draft Interim Fisheries Resources Research, Survey, and Monitoring Guidelines
ROSA is seeking input from the public on their recent Draft Interim Fisheries Resources Research, Survey, and Monitoring Guidelines. The draft guidelines build on and update existing BOEM guidance, outlining the fundamental elements to include in offshore wind fisheries survey and monitoring plans and identifying the primary resources to help draft and review such plans. More information on the document and steps to provide input to ROSA is provided here.
- GARFO Publishes Fisheries Landing and Revenue for Wind Development Areas
Modeled VTR and clam logbook data in wind development areas has been made publicly accessible in the Socioeconomic Impacts of Atlantic Offshore Wind Development report. This data is available for each offshore wind lease or project area in the United States. The landings and revenues are available by species, gear type, port of landing, and state of landing.
- RODA to host Synthesis of the Science: Interactions Between Offshore Wind Development and Fisheries on October 15, 16, and 30
The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) is hosting a three-day virtual workshop with the purpose of enhancing regional and national understanding of existing science related to offshore wind energy interactions with fish and fisheries. For more information, the workshop agenda, and registration, see the event webpage.
- Rhode Island Sea Grant to host symposium on noise and EMF impacts to benthic communities
Rhode Island Sea Grant will be hosting a free webinar on the effects of noise and EMF on benthic communities on October 20th, 2020 at 9 a.m. More information and registration can be found on the event webpage.
- OES-Environmental publishes 2020 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World
The State of the Science report includes the most current and pertinent published information on the interactions between marine renewable energy and the surrounding environment. It was developed by over 60 international experts and is regarded as a valuable data source on this important subject. The report is available here.
- NMFS provides final biological opinion to BOEM on the effects of the proposed Vineyard Wind 1 offshore energy project on protected species
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued their opinion on the effects that the Vineyard Wind 1 project may have on protected species. NMFS concluded that the proposed action is likely to adversely affect but is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any ESA listed species of whales, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon. No effects to any designated critical habitat are anticipated. NMFS will publish the final document to their website in the near future.
- MACO to host Port Access and Navigation Safety Studies Webinar October 8th, 2020
The Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) is hosting a webinar on October 8th, 2020 at 2 p.m. This public webinar features discussion from U.S. Coast Guard representatives about port access and navigation safety studies that the agency is leading along the Atlantic Coast as offshore wind development proceeds. For more information and registration, see the event website.
- New Jersey opens up 2.4 GW offshore wind solicitation
The state of New Jersey announced the opening of an application window for up to 2.4 GW of offshore wind energy. As the state’s second solicitation, this announcement seeks to award between 1,200 MW and 2,400 MW (2.4 GW) of offshore wind energy- potentially tripling the State’s committed capacity from 1,100 MW to 3,500 MW. The NJ Board of Public Utilities also approved the final New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
- U.K. lobster study has promising results
Research in the North Sea indicates that the construction of 35 wind turbines in the United Kingdom had no impact on the area’s lobster fishing grounds. The research was conducted by Ørsted and the Holderness Fishing Industry Group- a collaborative that represents commercial fishermen in the port town of Bridlington, England.
- BOEM Report: Environmental Effects of Turbine Foundations
BOEM has published a report on the cumulative environmental effects of different offshore wind turbine foundations. This document observed effects and risks as they relate to benthic, pelagic, and avian organisms.
- EBC hosts a Rhode Island offshore wind webinar
The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) will host a Rhode Island offshore wind webinar titled “Update on Rhode Island’s Offshore Wind Growth and Developments” on September 10th at 10 a.m. Additional information and registration for this event can be found here.
- Project awarded for turbine radar interference mitigation
A group led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been awarded a 3-year grant to develop software-based mitigation of wind turbine interference for high-frequency radar data. Building on mitigation research efforts by CODAR Ocean Sensors (funded by BOEM), this project will conduct the necessary system integration, testing, validation, and verification needed for operational capacity
- MACO Port-Access and Navigational Safety Webinar
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of the Ocean’s (MARCO) Committee of the Ocean (MACO) will be hosting a webinar on mid-Atlantic port access and navigation safety studies on September 16th, 2020 from 10:00-11:30 am. For more information, see the event web page.
- Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind releases a Fisheries Communication Plan
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a project off of New Jersey, has released their Fisheries Communication plan. The project is a 50/50 venture between EDF Renewables and Shell New Energies. The document includes an assessment of fishing activity within the Development Area and proposed fisheries communication strategies.
- RODA Joint Industry Task Force publishes recommendations for aids to navigation within offshore wind farms
The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance’s (RODA) Joint Task Force has published recommendations for aids in navigation within offshore wind farms. Their recommendations include “consistent and uniform navigational aids and marking across all offshore wind projects to minimize navigational risk for mariners. Recommendations include identification and marking of turbines to be sufficiently large, distinct and visible in all conditions to ensure mariners are able to easily identify turbines and their location within a wind energy area. Additionally, the use of other technologies used for navigational aids such as AIS on turbines, cell coverage in wind energy areas and smartly spaced fog signals should be used judiciously, particularly during the build out of the first commercial scale projects”. The full document is available here.
- RODA, NMFS, and BOEM will host State of the Science Workshop
On October 15, 16, & 30, 2020, RODA/ NMFS/ BOEM will host a three-day workshop to explore the Synthesis of the Science for Fisheries and Offshore Wind. The workshop will engage key experts, including fishermen, fishing industry representatives, agency representatives, wind energy developers, relevant fisheries managers, and expert scientists and academics to build and refine a regional fisheries and offshore science agenda, including through the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA). See here for more information on the event and signing up.
- Vineyard Wind has selected three start-ups to work on their Marine Mammal Challenge
Vineyard Wind has selected SICdrone, Night Vision Technology Solutions, and Open Ocean Robotics for their Marine Mammal Challenge. The startups will focus on innovations in marine mammal monitoring through data collection, real-time transmission, and analysis. The technologies the companies will utilize for real-time marine mammal detection include aerial drone systems, thermal and visible camera systems, and solar powered boats to collect data.
- Massachusetts offshore wind job training opens up economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry
As part of a $1.3 million state grant program, a partnership between the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and the Northeast Maritime Institute will enroll commercial fishermen in a certification course that will qualify them to transport people and supplies to wind turbine sites for the Vineyard Wind project. This opens up economic opportunities for members of the commercial fishing industry during project construction. Though the program has not started actively recruiting participants yet, word of mouth has raised some interest and there are already five names on the waiting list.
- USACE Permit filed for State Pier, New London CT
A USACE permit has been filed for the New London port expansion, which would support Revolution Wind, Sunrise Wind, South Fork Wind, and other projects. The proposed work would be located at the State Pier in New London, CT on the Thames River. The proposed two-phase State Pier infrastructure improvement project includes demolition activities, fill between the two existing piers, onshore site work, and in-water activities in the Thames River.
- Coast Guard announces Public Hearing Dates for northern NY Bight Port Access Route Study
On June 29th, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) published in the federal register a notice of the initiation of the northern NY Bight Port Access Route Study (NNYBPARS). Comments will be due on August 28.
The NNYBPARS will 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 District area of responsibility. The Northern New York Bight PARS (NNYBPARS) will consider 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. Vessel routing measures, which include traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, deep-water routes, precautionary areas, and areas to be avoided, are implemented to reduce the risk of marine casualties. The recommendations of the study may subsequently be implemented through rulemakings or in accordance with international agreements.
The USCG will hold a virtual public meeting via webinar and teleconference to provide an opportunity for oral comments on the NNYBPARS. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 beginning at 6 p.m. ET and the link to the webinar can be found here. The agenda and other relevant information can be viewed here. Capacity is limited, so please register to attend by emailing Rebecca.C.Blanchflower@uscg.mil. Instructions will be emailed to registered participants before the meetings occur. For additional information, please contact Tom Vinson or Laura Morton.
To submit a comment online, go to: www.regulations.gov and search “USCG-2020-0278” by August 28th at 11:59 pm.
- New Jersey’s second wind solicitation will seek between 1,200 MW and 2,400 MW of capacity
- Secretary of the Interior meets with commercial fishermen to discuss concerns over offshore wind development
On July 21st, New England commercial fishermen meet with Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to address concerns over offshore wind development. Their concerns include safety of commercial and recreational boaters navigating through the wind farms, potential gear conflicts, and disruption to marine life. The full article is available here
- The New England wind developers are funding free COVID-19 tests for fishermen in New Bedford
The New England wind developers are funding free COVID-19 tests for fishermen in New Bedford. The initiative is being funded by the New England Wind Development Area (WDA), which consists of Vineyard Wind, Eversource/Ørsted, Mayflower Wind, and Equinor. Together, the companies pooled more than $40,000 to pay for the testing.
- Largest-ever offshore wind solicitation announced by Governor Cuomo for up to 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York’s second offshore wind solicitation seeking up to 2,500 megawatts of projects. This is the largest in the nation’s history in addition to last year’s solicitation which resulted in nearly 1,700 megawatts awarded. This solicitation is coupled with a complementary multi-port infrastructure investment, which totals more than $400 million dollars of both public and private dollars for port infrastructure in New York since last year. The second solicitation continues to include both Environmental and Fisheries Mitigation Plans. For Governor Cuomo’s statement and more information on the solicitation, see here