Assessing Marine and Avian Wildlife Off the New York Coast


Title: Assessing Marine and Avian Wildlife Off the New York Coast
Date: July 21, 2016
15:00-16:30 UTC+00:00
Technology Type:

Webinar #8 in WREN (in cooperation with NYSERDA) Environmental Webinar Series

July 21, 2016 @ 15:00 - 16:30 UTC



The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island has the potential to support up to 39 gigawatts of clean, wind-driven energy—enough to power approximately 15 million homes. Because of offshore wind’s vast potential as a source of clean energy and its proximity to New York's large population centers, there is growing interest in developing offshore wind in New York, as well as in other parts of the country.


In an effort to ensure that potential offshore wind development protects the environment and addresses the concerns of coastal communities, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is conducting a multi-year aerial survey of wildlife in this area. Regional-scale baseline information on seasonal wildlife distributions, abundance and movements will inform the relative biodiversity of the development sites. The surveys will also provide a better understanding of the potential effects of individual projects, as well as the potential cumulative effects of multiple projects.


Aerial high-resolution digital still imagery surveys will be used to collect data on birds, marine mammals, sea turtles, cartilaginous fish and other taxa encountered in the area off the coast of Long Island. Surveys of the full region (approximately 16,700 sq. miles) will be conducted four times a year over three years beginning fall 2016. Data and results will be made available to interested agencies, organizations and the public, and will be suitable for synchronization and comparison with current or similar future datasets. Output data are not proprietary, allowing other studies to replicate methods and results


The webinar will outline the planned scope of the survey project and provide insights in the technical aspects of image collection, processing, species identification and data presentation. (WREN Introductory Slides)


Digital Aerial Baseline Survey of Marine Wildlife in Support of New York State Offshore Wind Energy


Gregory Lampman, Senior Project Manager, Environmental Research, NYSERDA. Mr. Lampman manages research projects assessing the environmental effects of energy production and use. Focus areas include acid and mercury deposition and their associated ecosystem effects, and alternative energy impacts (i.e. wind, hydrokinetics) on wildlife.


Greg Forcey, Senior Scientist and Project Manager, Normandeau Associates and Certified Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife Society. Dr. Forcey has a PhD in zoology from North Dakota State University and modeled wetland bird abundance in relation to land use and climate on a landscape scale. At Normandeau, his current research interests include modeling avian and bat collision risks with utilities, understanding temporal changes in bird distributions using existing data sets, and developing spatial tools for modeling avian and bat collisions with wind turbines. In the offshore environment, he has developed vulnerability indices for birds and has analyzed movements of migratory red knots and piping plovers using existing data.


Stephanie McGovern, Principal Ornithologist, APEM Ltd.  Dr. Stephanie McGovern is an experienced biometrician who has worked at APEM for 5 years.  She has worked on numerous aerial survey projects primarily for the offshore wind industry and is responsible for the statistical analysis of APEM’s aerial data. Stephanie has published research on red-throated diver demography and the effects of long term environmental change on upland ecosystems.



A video recording of the webinar has been posted below:

Past Events in the Series

  • Wind Energy Development Impacts on Marine Environment, Online, June 28, 2016 15:00-16:30 UTC+0000
  • Monitoring Bat Activity Offshore, Online, March 1, 2016 16:00-17:30 UTC+0000
  • Bats and Wind Energy Webinar, Online, September 3, 2014 15:30-16:30 UTC+0000
  • Avian Sensitivity Mapping and Wind Energy, Online, August 27, 2015 15:00-16:30 UTC+0000
  • Wildlife Monitoring and Wind Energy, Online, December 2, 2015 16:00-17:30 UTC+0000
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