Stressors & Interactions

  • Attraction: Increased presence of organisms to a device.
  • Avoidance: Temporary or permanent voluntary absence of organisms from the area surrounding a device.
  • Changes in Flow: A device impeding or altering the flow of water or air.
  • Collision: Direct contact between an animal and a device component.
  • Displacement: Potential for the loss of habitat due to disturbance or barrier effects.
  • Electromagnetic Fields: Physical fields generated by electrically charged objects.
  • Entanglement: Marine organisms becoming entangled by mooring lines, anchors, or cables.
  • Habitat Change: Changes to the physical habitat around the device.
  • Lighting: Artificial lighting added to devices for navigational safety.
  • Noise: Sound generated during the construction or operation of a device.



  • Bats: Mammals with webbed wings capable of true flight.
  • Birds: A broad term that applies to all species of birds.
    • Ground-Nesting Birds: Birds that nest and reside mostly on the ground.
    • Passerines: The most common type of birds, known for perching.
    • Raptors: Birds of prey that hunt and feed on large vertebrates compared to their size.
    • Seabirds: Birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment.
    • Shorebirds: Birds commonly found along shorelines, mudflats, and shallow water.
    • Waterfowl: Birds with webbed feet for aquatic environments.
  • Ecosystem Processes: The physical, chemical, and biological processes that link organisms and their environment.
  • Fish: Migratory fish passing through the area and resident fish living near a device.
    • Demersal Fish: Fish live and feed on or near the bottom of oceans and lakes.
    • Pelagic Fish: Fish that live in the pelagic zone of oceans or lakes.
  • Invertebrates: A broad term that encompasses both marine and terrestrial animals lacking a backbone.
  • Marine Mammals: A broad term that encompasses cetaceans, pinnipeds, and others.
  • Physical Environment: The area surrounding a device.
  • Reptiles: A broad term that encompasses turtles, snakes, lizards, and others.
  • Terrestrial Mammals: A broad term that encompasses carnivores (wolves, bears) and ungulates (deer, moose).
  • Human Dimensions: Potential impacts on local communities, societies, and economies.
    • Climate Change: Effects of renewable energy on the reduction of negative environmental outcomes caused by anthropogenic activities.
    • Environmental Impact Assessment: Process of examining the anticipated environmental effects of a proposed project.
    • Environmental Justice: The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
    • Fisheries: Commercial fishing is an established industry and a key stakeholder in the marine environment.
    • Legal & Policy: How governing bodies plan for and regulate renewable energy projects through policy and legal frameworks.
    • Life Cycle Assessment: Environmental assessment of all stages of a project’s life.
    • Marine Spatial Planning: Tool to plan, manage, and engage stakeholders of the many uses of marine resources.
    • Navigation: The movement of vessels and aircrafts in proximity to a device.
    • Recreation & Tourism: Activities done for enjoyment and/or during travels.
    • Social & Economic Data: Data that has been collected for the purpose of identifying social and economic impacts.
    • Stakeholder Engagement: Involvement of individuals, organizations, and companies with an interest in a project.
    • Visual Impacts: Visual appeal of existing landscape or seascape.



AIS: Automatic Identification System

BOEM: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

DOE: United States Department of Energy

EIA: Environmental Impact Assessment

EIS: Environmental Impact Statement

EMF: Electromagnetic Field

ERES: Environmental Risk Evaluation System

FAD: Fish Aggregating Device

GIS: Geographic Information Service

GW: Gigawatt

HRA: Habitats Regulations Assessment

IEA: International Energy Agency

kW: Kilowatt

LCA: Life Cycle Assessment

LCOE: Levelized Cost of Energy

MHK: Marine and Hydrokinetic

MRE: Marine Renewable Energy

MSP: Marine Spatial Planning

MW: Megawatt

NOAA: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

OES: Ocean Energy Systems

ORE: Ocean Renewable Energy

OSW: Offshore Wind

OTEC: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

OWC: Oscillating Water Column

PNNL: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

S-R: Stressor-Receptor

SEA: Strategic Environmental Assessment

SPA: Special Protection Area

SWAC: Sea Water Air Conditioning

T&E: Threatened and Endangered Species

WEC: Wave Energy Converter