Offshore Wind Energy – Not Just a Bunch of Hot Air
Last week, I participated in a panel at the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2019 conference. My panel, Balancing Co-existence in the Offshore – Many Users, One Ocean looked at how to harmonize and collaboratively manage the needs of current and future users, including those involved in the emerging offshore wind industry. As the use of offshore wind becomes a reality — there are currently 15 active leases in the Atlantic, with more in the planning stages — it’s critical that we understand the impact of rapid growth and related infrastructure on the environment. This includes additional research to better understand the real impact offshore wind farms have and will have on commercial and recreational fisheries and related economies, migratory species’ corridors (such as those necessary for migration by the North Atlantic right whale), and meso-scale ocean features and processes. We should also keep in mind that the infrastructure associated with offshore wind provides an opportunity to advance ocean observing capabilities and additional sustainable development.
I look forward to COL’s efforts around these issues in the coming months as we engage our multi-sectoral members, federal partners, and those who represent all parts of the rapidly growing commercial offshore wind industry, which must be developed in a sustainable, prosperous, and environmentally sound manner. This includes answering questions that could enable a reduction in permitting timelines, when, where, and how that makes scientific sense. As we talked about during our panel, energy companies are already investing heavily in offshore wind, which is a more environmentally friendly renewable energy option for our ocean, and we must ensure we move forward in a responsible, sustainable, science-based manner.
Rutgers’ Underwater Gliders Keep A Watchful Eye On NJ’s Water Quality
Thousands of New Jersey residents will soon head out to the beach as summer quickly approaches. But how can they be sure that the ocean water they are swimming in is clean and safe? Cue a piece of equipment from Rutgers University. Rutgers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have been teaming up for years to monitor New Jersey’s oceans using underwater gliders.
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