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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $13.5 million in funding to provide critical environmental and wildlife data to support offshore wind development. DOE is funding four projects that will inform offshore wind siting, permitting and help protect wildlife and fisheries as offshore wind deployment increases.
Two selected projects will support wildlife and fisheries monitoring efforts on the East Coast. The other two projects are focused on preparing the West Coast for floating offshore wind development by collecting wildlife distribution data and developing tools to monitor the environmental effects of floating offshore wind energy. The selectees are:
  • Duke University and team (Durham, NC) will assess the risk that offshore wind development may pose to birds, bats, and marine mammals; prioritise wildlife monitoring needs; and collect biological and behavioral data at offshore wind farms on the East Coast. (Award amount: $7.5 million)
  • Coonamessett Farm Foundation and partners (East Falmouth, MA) will survey changes in commercial fish and marine invertebrate populations and seafloor habitats at an offshore wind development site on the East Coast. (Award amount: $3.3 million) 
  • Oregon State University (Newport, OR) will conduct visual surveys and acoustic monitoring of marine mammals and seabirds to develop predictive density maps of species present in potential wind energy development areas on the West Coast. (Award amount: $2 million) 
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA) will develop next‐generation autonomous robotic technology for environmental monitoring of marine organisms and the seafloor at potential wind energy development areas on the West Coast. (Award amount: $750,000)
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