Workshop on Marine Mammal Research Priorities
MassCEC, EEA, BOEM and the New England Aquarium convened a workshop in May 2018 to inform the development of a scientific research framework to guide studies of potential impacts to endangered whales and sea turtles associated with offshore wind facility construction and operation in the U.S. Northeast.
The framework identifies preferred strategies for assessment of potential population-level impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles associated with offshore wind facility construction and operation. The framework addresses two separate areas of interest. One revolves around the near-term effects of short-term construction activities at the project-specific scale. The larger question revolves around the long term effects of and potential population-level impacts of windfarm placement and operations on distribution, abundance, behavior, or demography of endangered marine mammals and sea turtles.
The framework report is available here.
Workshop proceedings are here.
NEAq Occurrence Analysis (NEAq 2731)
In August 2019 MassCEC approved an $85,000 grant to the New England Aquarium for detailed analysis of the full set of offshore wind energy area wildlife data (whales and sea turtles) collected by the Aquarium in five survey campaigns from 2011-2019. The funded analyses go well beyond that which has been completed on an interim basis as part of the five aerial survey campaigns previously funded by MassCEC and BOEM. The Aquarium will conduct comprehensive synthesis, analysis and modeling of multiple years of aerial survey data and related datasets to establish baseline information on use of southern New England offshore wind energy areas by right, fin, sei and humpback whales and to examine migratory movements and population demographics of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale in the wind energy areas.
The final NEAq Occurrence Analysis Report is available here.