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.
  • Entrapment: Large marine organisms feeling trapped 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, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, 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