The National Wildlife Federation believes that offshore wind energy must be located, constructed, and operated in a way that does not threaten our coastal and marine wildlife.
These are the ways in which we believe that can be accomplished:
Technological advancements now allow offshore wind farms to be located farther offshore. This greatly reduces potential conflicts with wildlife, shoreline view sheds and competing ocean uses like shipping and fishing.
Under President Obama’s Executive Order on ocean policy, a new legal framework was established for coastal and marine spatial planning, one that calls for an unprecedented degree of collaboration among federal and state agencies. This is a crucial opportunity for coordination of wind energy development with the many other uses of coastal and marine resources. Federal and state government agencies participating in this planning framework should work collaboratively with other key stakeholders fill data gaps and guide offshore wind development in a manner that protects key interests including fish and wildlife resources.
In the last few years we’ve seen huge progress towards ensuring wildlife-friendly offshore wind power can be harnessed off the Atlantic coast. Here's what's in progress:
But, with more work to be done, we’re beginning to convene marine wildlife experts, NGOs, research institutions, the wind industry and regulators in a forum to flesh out additional needed protective actions. After some site-specific data is collected, we’ll see what kind of guidelines might be needed to avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife that far offshore and make sure those guidelines are put in place before construction begins.
Atlantic offshore wind energy development is on the right track. We’re optimistic that with your help and with more work, we will be able to get behind offshore wind as truly "wildlife-friendly."
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