New online source shows East Coast offshore wind projects

Mariners have a new source for information about offshore wind energy projects proposed off the East Coast.

Offshore Wind in the Northeast Region is a new webpage compiled by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils that shows all planned and potential offshore wind energy lease areas to date from southern New England to Cape Hatteras, N.C.

The page is intended as a one-stop information source, for mariners and other stakeholders with interests in how the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans leasing for offshore wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

A BOEM map shows wind energy projects planned off southern New England. BOEM image

A BOEM map shows wind energy projects planned off southern New England. BOEM image

The page links to BOEM planning documents, government planning documents and studies, and wind developers’ information. It also maintains an updated list of public meetings and information sessions, like a series of meetings held this week in New York and New Jersey that were aimed at involving the recreational fishing sector.

Key links include the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portals, public websites that compile information about economic activity and environmental conditions off the East Coast. The websites’ mapping overlay capabilities allow shipping traffic, fishing activity and other uses to be compared to proposed wind farm sites – data that is shaping much of the debate over whether wind energy can be compatible with long-established commerce on the ocean.

While the Trump administration’s Department of Interior is favoring offshore wind development, the President’s June 19 order setting a new National Ocean Policy could undo regional planning bodies (RPBs) – consortiums of state and federal agencies and advisors established under the Obama administration’s 2010 ocean policy.

The earliest RPBs were established in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, which set up the data portals, Much of the information they gather is being used by BOEM in its planning process, which so far has granted 13 offshore wind leases and is looking at even more potential lease area in the New York Bight.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Johnson on

    Get rid of all government subsidies for these money sucking windmills. They will never compete with gas/oil/coal for as far as the foreseeable future can see. They are a menace to navigation/extremely hazardous to the environment and just another burden for the ever suffering tax payer to fund these make work projects.
    Must I remind you of the “Butterfly effect” Just think what thousands, mayhaps millions of these giant butterflies will do!!
    The next thing that will happen is that they will bypass the Jones Act and permit all the foreign shipyards and suppliers get the contracts for construction, maintenance and man all of the required installation and upkeep ships/boats and crews.
    Just watch.

  2. Pingback: Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 13 | Talking Fish

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