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US Wind has announced its coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on the deployment of an ocean buoy that monitors and provides daily reports of whales detected off Maryland's Atlantic coast.
The whale monitoring buoy, located about 23 miles offshore in the Maryland Lease area, will monitor the presence of a wide range of baleen whales who either call the ocean offshore Maryland home or pass during migration along the coast.
The data collected will be transmitted to shore, verified by UMCES scientists. The moored buoy includes three enabling technologies developed by WHOI, including a digital acoustic monitoring (DMON) instrument; the low-frequency detection and classification system (LFDCS); and an acoustically quiet mooring that utilizes patented stretch hoses to dampen wave-induced motion. These technologies help avoid masking low-frequency calls of large whales from background noise and wave action.
The deployment is scheduled for at least one year and will support current and near-real-time alerts to help inform on-water changes in vessel traffic and develop recommendations for mitigation efforts to protect marine life during construction and maintenance of Maryland Offshore wind activities.
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