Pacific Offshore Wind Environmental Research Recommendations

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The U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research (SEER) effort compiled a database of research recommendations, from over 40 existing resources, that are relevant to the environmental effects of offshore wind energy development on the U.S. Pacific Coast (California, Oregon, and Washington). The SEER team then synthesized the over 500 individual research recommendations into roughly 50 broad overarching topics to provide an overview of what is included in the database. 

The database includes input from the SEER Pacific Research Recommendations Workshop held during May 3-5, 2022. The stakeholder workshop focused on preconstruction (baseline) research needs for potential floating offshore wind energy development on the U.S. Pacific Coast. The workshop covered three marine life breakout groups on subsequent days to discuss recommendations related to: 1) marine mammals and sea turtles, 2) fish and invertebrates, and 3) birds and bats. The final Workshop Report includes a summary of discussions and key takeaways from each breakout group.

The online tool below presents the synthesized research recommendations and provides links to relevant citations. Results can be refined by selecting from the drop-down menus or entering a search term. Synthesized research recommendations are ordered alphabetically. The order does not signify the importance or priority of each recommendation.

Download the complete database as a spreadsheet here.

Download the synthesized recommendations below as a spreadsheet here.

Research Recommendation Stressor/Topic Receptor Development Phase Citations
Aggregation of Marine Life at Structures

Understand effects of structures as aggregating devices for marine life, including effects on behavior, migratory patterns, recruitment, and foraging opportunities.

Attraction, Habitat Change Bats, Birds, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Construction, Operations & Maintenance State of Maine 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Degraer et al. 2021, Boehlert et al. 2008, Kelly (2020), ODFW (2020a)
Baseline Bat Activity and Occurrence Offshore

Understand patterns of bat activity, movement, and habitat use in the offshore environment and how they change depending on weather and time of year, to assess the degree of likely interactions with offshore wind energy facilities.

Baseline Bats Pre-construction Hein et al. 2021, Flick et al. 2021, State of Maine 2021
Baseline Chemical Contamination

Analyze sediment, water, and tissue samples to identify chemicals that may be released in the environment.

Baseline Ecosystem processes Pre-construction Boehlert et al. 2008
Baseline Ecological Data Collection

Collect data on species distributions and variability, including times of high risk for migratory species....Read more

Collect data on species distributions and variability, including times of high risk for migratory species. Studies should include surveys of all marine taxonomical groups and be conducted in locations that include under-sampled areas, ecologically important areas, nearshore locations, and potential wind energy development areas. Studies should also fill data gaps and improve data quality for distributions of rare or endangered species. Conduct studies in all seasons and monitor changes over time to maintain relevant data that reflects changing climate conditions. These baseline data can be used to develop fine scale species distribution models, identify biological hotspots, contribute to cumulative impacts assessments, and support offshore wind energy siting activities.

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Baseline Bats, Benthos, Birds, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Maxwell et al. 2022, Crowfoot et al. 2020, State of Maine 2021, Leirness 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Menza et al. 2016, Skewgar et al. 2011, Suryan et al. 2012, Boehlert et al. 2008, Liebezeit et al. (2021), ODFW (2020a), ODFW (2020b)
Baseline Ecological Drivers

Identify baseline ecological drivers that help predict habitat use, distribution, and abundance or marine mammals and seabirds. These environmental predictor variables can be used to improve habitat-based predictive models, particularly in areas with little or no survey information....Read more

Identify baseline ecological drivers that help predict habitat use, distribution, and abundance or marine mammals and seabirds. These environmental predictor variables can be used to improve habitat-based predictive models, particularly in areas with little or no survey information. Ecological variables may include prey availability or weather patterns, for example.

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Baseline Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals Pre-construction Leirness 2021, Southall et al. 2021, Menza et al. 2016
Behavioral Responses

Understand potential behavioral responses from disturbance, displacement, or avoidance, through to physiological effects, and all the way to population-level impacts....Read more

Understand potential behavioral responses from disturbance, displacement, or avoidance, through to physiological effects, and all the way to population-level impacts. Investigate spatial-temporal contextual conditions associated with potential longer-term responses (e.g., avoidance or attraction) to OSW development areas. Assess individual energetic consequences of behavioral changes due to OSW development activities. Evaluate trends in fitness (survival, reproduction) and abundance for populations that are regularly exposed to OSW stressors.

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Attraction, Avoidance, Changes in Flow, Turbine collision, Vessel collision, Displacement, Electromagnetic Fields, Entanglement, Habitat Change, Lighting, Noise Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Maxwell et al. 2022, Cook et al. 2021, Southall et al. 2021, Hein et al. 2021, Popper et al. 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Adams et al. 2016, Boehlert et al. 2008
Benthic Biological Surveys and Species Distribution

Conduct biological surveys of benthic habitat to determine species composition and distribution, in particular in potential offshore wind areas. In addition, evaluate abundance and density of species in deep-sea benthic ecosystems such as corals and sponges....Read more

Conduct biological surveys of benthic habitat to determine species composition and distribution, in particular in potential offshore wind areas. In addition, evaluate abundance and density of species in deep-sea benthic ecosystems such as corals and sponges. Use these data to identify areas of high ecological importance.

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Baseline Benthos, Invertebrates, Fishes Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Maxwell et al. 2022, Degraer et al. 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008
Colonization of Structures

Analyze information on the fouling communities that develop on structures and their rates of development in different ocean conditions. Understand which species dominate early colonization, how long stages take to progress, and at what point a new community establishes itself.

Attraction, Habitat Change Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Dannheim et al. 2020, Boehlert et al. 2008, ODFW (2020b)
Community Turnover Rates

Conduct studies of community turnover rates that account for local biological variability. Studies should be conducted at spatial scales, temporal scales, and species of interest that are relevant to potential offshore wind energy development.

Baseline Benthos, Invertebrates, Fishes Pre-construction Aylesworth et al. 2019
Compensatory Mitigation

Develop compensatory mitigation program to compensate for environmental harm caused by offshore wind and associated infrastructure at offshore, landfall, and onshore locations.

Cumulative Impacts Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles American Bird Conservancy 2021, Liebezeit et al. (2021)
Cumulative impacts

Evaluate cumulative environmental effects of offshore wind energy development across lifecycle (pre-construction to decommissioning), including the effects of multiple offshore wind farms in a region and onshore impacts....Read more

Evaluate cumulative environmental effects of offshore wind energy development across lifecycle (pre-construction to decommissioning), including the effects of multiple offshore wind farms in a region and onshore impacts. The cumulative impacts analysis should include an evaluation of physical processes, habitat, climate, behavioral changes, and changes to populations, abundance, distribution, and migration of wildlife species.

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Cumulative Impacts Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Maxwell et al. 2022, Popper et al. 2022, Southall et al. 2021, Cook et al. 2021, American Bird Conservancy 2021, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2018, Cullum et al. 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020, Adams et al. 2016, Bates et al. 2017, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, American Bird Conservancy 2021, Boehlert et al. 2008, Liebezeit et al. (2021)
Cumulative Impacts and Conflicts with Fisheries

Develop a better understanding of cumulative impacts between offshore wind energy and fisheries, including future climate conditions. Identify sources and severity of conflicts between offshore wind energy and other ocean uses to ensure transparent and equitable marine spatial planning....Read more

Develop a better understanding of cumulative impacts between offshore wind energy and fisheries, including future climate conditions. Identify sources and severity of conflicts between offshore wind energy and other ocean uses to ensure transparent and equitable marine spatial planning. Better understand interactions between fisheries with seabird and invertebrate populations.

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Cumulative Impacts Birds, Invertebrates, Fishes Harvey et al. 2022, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, NOAA NMFS (2022)
Cumulative Impacts with Consideration of Climate Change

Better understand the impact of climate change on marine resources, their habitat, and oceanographic processes (such as ocean heat waves and upwelling)....Read more

Better understand the impact of climate change on marine resources, their habitat, and oceanographic processes (such as ocean heat waves and upwelling). Understand impacts to the extent that we can distinguish reasonably foreseeable impacts caused by climate changes from impacts with a reasonably close causal relationship to proposed offshore wind energy development.

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Cumulative Impacts Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Adams et al. 2016, Cook et al. 2021, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2018, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Degagne et al. 2022, Crowfoot et al. 2020, Bates et al. 2017, Boehlert et al. 2008, NOAA NMFS (2022)
Data Access, Transparency, and Standardization

Develop and implement standardized procedures and survey protocols that ensure high-quality datasets and comparability between survey efforts. For example, develop standardized methods for acoustic data for fishes and aquatic invertebrates; seabird surveys; and benthic data collection....Read more

Develop and implement standardized procedures and survey protocols that ensure high-quality datasets and comparability between survey efforts. For example, develop standardized methods for acoustic data for fishes and aquatic invertebrates; seabird surveys; and benthic data collection. Coordinate data collection activities across different geographic and time scales such that data collected can be leveraged by different projects and researchers. Ensure monitoring done by developers and through longer-term surveys are compatible and supports knowledge transfer between different data sources without making impediments to gather long-term scientific data sets and surveys, such as those conducted by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Compile data into a publicly accessible, centralized, online repository. Use standardized protocols for collection and storage of data so information can be compared across different projects or surveys. Maintain the integrity, relevance, and accuracy of data that are hosted in the current and future locations, such as the California Offshore Wind Energy Gateway.

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Data Management, Baseline Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Popper et al. 2022, Leirness 2021, Cook et al. 2021, Carpenter et al. 2021, Degraer et al. 2021, Hein et al. 2021, Popper et al. 2021, Boehlert et al. 2008
Ecosystem Planning

Establish a broad-scale, ecosystem-wide approach to setting policy objectives, planning, and measuring ecosystem health that involves various stakeholder groups

Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Crowfoot et al. 2020, Skewgar et al. 2011
Effects on Oceanographic and Atmospheric Processes

Investigate how offshore wind farms could affect atmospheric and oceanographic processes, including ocean currents, stratification, and upwelling, with associated impacts on marine life.

Changes in Flow, Habitat Change Ecosystem processes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Carpenter et al. 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020, NOAA NMFS (2022)
Effects on Sediment Transport

Determine whether offshore wind farms could interfere with the physiographic process of sediment transport. Advancing oceanographic models and their applications will help to understand implications of OSW development for sediment transport.

Changes in Flow, Habitat Change Ecosystem processes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Impacts

Understand potential impacts of electromagnetic fields from suspended and buried cables on marine animal sensory systems and movements, including behavior, spawning, and migratory patterns.

Electromagnetic Fields Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Degraer et al. 2021, State of Maine 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008, NOAA NMFS (2022)
Fisheries Baseline Data Collection

Collect area-specific stock distribution, status, and habitat data for fish species (e.g., sharks, billfish, hagfish) at different life stages to identify important habitat areas such as key migratory routes, feeding areas, and pupping areas, and improve understanding of deepwater fish species...Read more

Collect area-specific stock distribution, status, and habitat data for fish species (e.g., sharks, billfish, hagfish) at different life stages to identify important habitat areas such as key migratory routes, feeding areas, and pupping areas, and improve understanding of deepwater fish species status and lifecycle.

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Baseline Fishes Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022
Habitat Alteration

Address the potential removal or alteration of sensitive and important habitat for important species (i.e. ESA, commercially, recreationally, and ecologically valuable species)....Read more

Address the potential removal or alteration of sensitive and important habitat for important species (i.e. ESA, commercially, recreationally, and ecologically valuable species). Document existing conditions for comparison with monitoring results of habitat changes related to offshore wind farms.

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Habitat Change Bats, Benthos, Birds, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Popper et al. 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Bates et al. 2017, Boehlert et al. 2008, ODFW (2020a)
Habitat Use and Site Fidelity

Examine individual habitat use and site fidelity. Assess physiological/stress consequences of exposure to OSW stressors using genetics; biopsy; breath; parts; hormone analysis. Should sample body condition as well for possible correlations (photogrammetric measurements).

Habitat Change Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Southall et al. 2021, Gitschlag et al. 2021
Heat Emission from Cables

Investigate whether heat emitted by offshore wind farm cables effects benthic communities. Understanding is needed of how the position of the cable (e.g., buried, exposed, protected with concrete mattressing/rock armor) will influence the rate of heat dissipation....Read more

Investigate whether heat emitted by offshore wind farm cables effects benthic communities. Understanding is needed of how the position of the cable (e.g., buried, exposed, protected with concrete mattressing/rock armor) will influence the rate of heat dissipation. Heat generation and dissipation is not well defined and requires data collection prior to assessing the effects on benthic communities and biogeochemistry. Note that heat generation and dissipation will be specific to the cable characteristics and the environment (e.g., ambient temperature, porosity of seabed/protection) and that heat and EMF may be a potential multi-modal stressor.

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Habitat Change Benthos, Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Degraer et al. 2021, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Douglas et al. (2022)
Impacts of Lights

Assess whether lighting from offshore wind structures effects the behavior of marine life, such as attraction, and collision risk.

Lighting Bats, Birds, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance State of Maine 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020
Impacts of Scouring

Assess effects of scouring on sediment and associated habitat around turbines. For mooring lines and cables, assess the possible use of nature inclusive designs to involve, for example, the use of additional rocks or boulders around floating OSW turbine components to reduce scour.

Changes in Flow, Habitat Change Ecosystem processes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021
Impacts on Benthic Habitat

Assess potential impacts of offshore wind structures on the seabed and how these developments interact with fish and invertebrate species that use benthos for life stages.

Habitat Change Benthos, Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Carpenter et al. 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020, Boehlert et al. 2008, Douglas et al. (2022), NOAA NMFS (2022), ODFW (2020a)
Impacts to Phytoplankton Productivity and Lower Trophic Marine Life

Determine the potential effects of physical and water quality changes on phytoplankton primary production. Understanding is needed of how changes in circulation, turbidity, light penetration, and nutrients may impact primary production.

Changes in Flow, Habitat Change Ecosystem processes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Integral Consulting Inc 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020
Introduction of Invasive Species

Evaluate potential to introduce non-native (invasive) species through colonization due to artificial structure introduction. Understand how turbines might serve as stepping stones for non-indigenous species or for range expansion.

Attraction, Habitat Change Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Crowfoot et al. 2020, Dannheim et al. 2020, Bates et al. 2017
Larval Transport

Investigate effects of wind energy structures on ocean current changes to determine impact on larval/plankton transport and communities due to these

...Read more

Investigate effects of wind energy structures on ocean current changes to determine impact on larval/plankton transport and communities due to these

structures. Such effects can vary among designs of individual technologies, and the number and distance between units and complexes. Models of nearshore oceanography will assist efforts to estimate larval transport effects.

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Changes in Flow Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, State of Maine 2021, Boehlert et al. 2008
Marine Mammal Baseline Data Collection

Collect fine spatial and temporal scale data on marine mammal species distribution, abundance, behavior, and habitat use....Read more

Collect fine spatial and temporal scale data on marine mammal species distribution, abundance, behavior, and habitat use. Data on migratory patterns; ecosystem and prey conditions; diving, foraging, and reproductive behavior; vocalization behavior (seasonality and acoustic characteristics); and residency is needed for species of interest that are relevant to potential offshore wind energy development, such as killer whales, beaked whales, fin whales, and minke whales. Development and verification of predictive models incorporating oceanographic data and habitat conditions will be essential to identifying current and potential areas of importance.

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Baseline Marine mammals Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) 2022, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Flick et al. 2021, Southall et al. 2021, State of Maine 2021, Cullum et al. 2021, Calambokidis et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008, Liebezeit et al. (2021)
Methodological Strategies for Baseline Data Collection

Develop a strategy for short- and long-term monitoring (including pre- and post-construction periods) that can span a range of spatial and temporal scales and differentiate offshore wind effects from natural and climate variability.

Baseline, Technology/ Methods Development Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction Carpenter et al. 2021
Migration Pathways and Timing

Collect data to verify and improve understanding of the spatial and temporal characteristics of migratory patterns of birds, marine mammals, and fish, with a particular focus on species of interest....Read more

Collect data to verify and improve understanding of the spatial and temporal characteristics of migratory patterns of birds, marine mammals, and fish, with a particular focus on species of interest. Use these baseline data to evaluate the impacts to migratory routes caused by offshore wind energy development and to identify times of high risk for migratory species.

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Baseline, Attraction, Avoidance, Displacement Birds, Fishes, Marine mammals, Bats Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Maxwell et al. 2022, Degagne et al. 2022, California Energy Commission 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Pacific Fishery Management Council 2018, Bates et al. 2017, Boehlert et al. 2008, Douglas et al. (2022), ODFW (2020b)
Monitoring and Mitigation Technologies

Develop new technologies to improve monitoring and reduce wildlife impact from offshore wind energy....Read more

Develop new technologies to improve monitoring and reduce wildlife impact from offshore wind energy. Technology development should monitor and reduce impacts to biodiversity, habitat, and coastal upwelling, through new technologies that may include, but are not limited to smart curtailment and deterrence, integration of bat monitoring with turbine manufacturing, and automated sampling methods for benthic habitats. Research should explore use of novel techniques like eDNA, which are capable of detecting the presence of underwater wildlife including rare, cryptic, or vulnerable species. Expand networked wildlife tracking network, including Motus stations, using a geographically phased approach along the Pacific Coast.

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Technology/ Methods Development Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Johnson et al. 2022, Maxwell et al. 2022, California Energy Commission 2021, Sathe et al. 2020, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) 2022, Hein et al. 2021, Flick et al. 2021, American Bird Conservancy 2021, Cook et al. 2021, State of Maine 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008
Monitoring Methods for Vessel Collisions

Develop procedures for marine mammal detection and ship strike reduction, including applying different monitoring techniques that could be used depending on the species.

Vessel collision Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Maxwell et al. 2022, Southall et al. 2021, Calambokidis et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008
Noise Impacts on Marine Species

Examine behavioral and physiological changes in relation to sound exposure (e.g., geophysical/technical surveys, pile driving, operational noise, etc) that may have implications for fitness, including individual survival, predator–prey relationships, and/or breeding success....Read more

Examine behavioral and physiological changes in relation to sound exposure (e.g., geophysical/technical surveys, pile driving, operational noise, etc) that may have implications for fitness, including individual survival, predator–prey relationships, and/or breeding success. Investigate detection of sound pressure, particle motion, and vibration, including bandwidth of detection, minimal level of signal detectable at each frequency (threshold, or sensitivity), and behavioral responses. Understand hearing thresholds for sensitive marine species.

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Noise Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Popper et al. 2021, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Carpenter et al. 2021, Gitschlag et al. 2021, Southall et al. 2021, NOAA NMFS (2022), ODFW (2020a), ODFW (2020b)
Noise Reduction Strategies

Characterize existing noise abatement and mitigation methods and explore which may potentially be effective for various marine life. Use these data to identify mitigation options in case substantial impacts are detected.

Noise, Technology/ Methods Development Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Popper et al. 2021
Nutrient Cycling

Understand possible changes in nutrient cycling as a consequence of the development of offshore wind farms. Assess changes in nutrient transport due to changes in mixing, including transport to the euphotic zone with implications for primary productivity.

Changes in Flow Ecosystem processes Construction, Operations & Maintenance Degraer et al. 2021
Oceanographic Monitoring and Hydrographic Data Collection

Monitor oceanographic and hydrographic conditions over time, including temperature, salinity, oxygen, phosphate, nutrients, etc., in potential offshore wind energy areas. Expand data collection to include more midwater and bottom ocean locations.

Baseline Ecosystem processes Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Degraer et al. 2021, Boehlert et al. 2008, ODFW (2020b)
Onshore Wildlife Impacts

Develop understanding of environmental effects from onshore infrastructure developed to support offshore wind energy, including cable landfall, port, and onshore electrical transmission.

Cumulative Impacts Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles American Bird Conservancy 2021
Planning and Siting

Work collaboratively with stakeholders to conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerability, sensitivity, knowledge gaps in the early planning stages to inform the location of call areas, and for macro, meso, and micro siting decisions....Read more

Work collaboratively with stakeholders to conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerability, sensitivity, knowledge gaps in the early planning stages to inform the location of call areas, and for macro, meso, and micro siting decisions. Develop a decision support tool to support planning, analysis, and siting of wind energy areas. Integrate ongoing analysis to existing decision support tools, such as the California Offshore Wind Energy Gateway, to allow users to simultaneously overlay and analyze multiple data sets. Improve fine-scale resolution of the data sets in areas of interest.

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Baseline, Data Management Bats, Benthos, Birds, Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction Flick and Kelly 2022, Degagne et al. 2022, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) 2022, Cullum et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, National Audubon Initiative 2022, Cook et al. 2021, Cullum et al. 2021, Skewgar et al. 2011
Primary and secondary entanglement risks

Assess potential entanglement risks (primary and secondary) to fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles during activities to support offshore wind projects....Read more

Assess potential entanglement risks (primary and secondary) to fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles during activities to support offshore wind projects. Understand multiple entanglement sources documented in a region and then assess elevated risk areas to support development of best management practices or regulatory conditions to be applied to the environmental analysis of proposed developments.

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Entanglement Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) 2021, Gitschlag et al. 2021, Bates et al. 2017, Boehlert et al. 2008, NOAA NMFS (2022), ODFW (2020a), ODFW (2020b)
Sea Turtle Baseline Data Collection

Determine fine-scale patterns of sea turtle movements, distributions, and habitat use, including changes in relation to offshore wind development....Read more

Determine fine-scale patterns of sea turtle movements, distributions, and habitat use, including changes in relation to offshore wind development. Assess existing tracking and survey data across all sea turtle species, identify environmental drivers of distribution and habitat use patterns, update abundance estimates, and determine possible data compilation and modeling approaches for using these data collectively to inform decision making.

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Baseline Sea turtles Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Gitschlag et al. 2021
Seabird Baseline Data Collection

Collect fine spatial and temporal scale data on seabird distribution, abundance, behavior, and habitat use to inform project siting, improve model predictions, and quantify potential population-level consequences....Read more

Collect fine spatial and temporal scale data on seabird distribution, abundance, behavior, and habitat use to inform project siting, improve model predictions, and quantify potential population-level consequences. Data on colony location and size; migratory patterns; foraging grounds; and bird activity during nonbreeding seasons, at night, and during storms is needed for species of interest that are relevant to potential offshore wind energy development, including rare, threatened, endemic, and locally breeding species.

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Baseline Birds Pre-construction Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Leirness 2021, Cook et al. 2021, Cook et al. 2021, Suryan et al. 2012, Adams et al. 2016, Boehlert et al. 2008, Liebezeit et al. (2021)
Seabird Flight Height

Improve information on flight height patterns for seabird species of interest (e.g., albatrosses, loons, grebes, shearwaters, and petrels) in relation to environmental conditions such as wind speed and visibility....Read more

Improve information on flight height patterns for seabird species of interest (e.g., albatrosses, loons, grebes, shearwaters, and petrels) in relation to environmental conditions such as wind speed and visibility. Flight reconstructions from bio-logging technology, such as GPS devices, altimeters, and accelerometers, can also provide information on fine-scale flight differences and regional use between day and night to assess collision risk with offshore wind energy projects. Improve information on flight height patterns for seabird species of interest (e.g., albatrosses, loons, grebes, shearwaters, and petrels) in relation to environmental conditions such as wind speed and visibility. Flight reconstructions from bio-logging technology, such as GPS devices, altimeters, and accelerometers, can also provide information on fine-scale flight differences and regional use between day and night to assess collision risk with offshore wind energy projects.

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Baseline, Turbine collision Birds Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Johnson et al. 2022, Cook et al. 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Suryan et al. 2012
Seafloor Habitat Mapping

Conduct or expand spatial area of high-resolution seafloor habitat maps including substrate compositions and improving bathymetric data. Improve data quality by ground-truthing previously mapped areas. Validate model predictions based on measurements.

Baseline Benthos Pre-construction Pacific Fishery Management Council 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Degraer et al. 2021, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008, Douglas et al. (2022), ODFW (2020a), ODFW (2020b)
Soundscape Monitoring throughout Offshore wind Lifecycle

Evaluate ambient sound levels (soundscapes) in offshore wind farm development areas prior to development (baseline) activities, as well as during all development phases....Read more

Evaluate ambient sound levels (soundscapes) in offshore wind farm development areas prior to development (baseline) activities, as well as during all development phases. Understand sound propagation at varying distances from lease sites to understand how sound moves in certain areas, and across different frequencies for OSW turbines. Incorporate the Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Framework that NMFS and BOEM recently jointly developed for monitoring for underwater sounds related to offshore wind development activities.

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Noise, Technology/ Methods Development, Baseline Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Maxwell et al. 2022, Popper et al. 2021, Southall et al. 2021, State of Maine 2021, Flick et al. 2021, Dannheim et al. 2020, Aylesworth et al. 2019, Boehlert et al. 2008, Douglas et al. (2022), NOAA NMFS (2022), ODFW (2020a)
Technologies for Reducing Entanglement Risk

Identify maintenance procedures to regularly remove derelict gear to reduce the risk of entanglement of marine organisms....Read more

Identify maintenance procedures to regularly remove derelict gear to reduce the risk of entanglement of marine organisms. Monitor tension of lines and cables used to identify if derelict gear or material is entangled, and otherwise develop strategies for reducing entanglement risk (e.g., color of mooring lines, pingers, acoustic deterrents, various mooring line configurations, etc).

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Entanglement, Technology/ Methods Development Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Boehlert et al. 2008
Transit Routes and Wildlife Habitat

Understand co-occurrence of transit routes with whale habitat, including krill hotpots, and subsequently limiting the number of vessels and reducing vessel speeds should be considered as a means to reduce potential impacts....Read more

Understand co-occurrence of transit routes with whale habitat, including krill hotpots, and subsequently limiting the number of vessels and reducing vessel speeds should be considered as a means to reduce potential impacts. Develop real-time forecasting of krill hotspots to establish dynamic management areas for vessel traffic.

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Vessel collision Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Pre-construction, Construction, Operations & Maintenance, Decommissioning Johnson et al. 2022, Maxwell et al. 2022
Trophic Impacts

Understand the potential impacts of offshore wind farms activities on the food chain, all the way from lower trophic levels to higher trophic levels.

Attraction, Changes in Flow, Displacement, Electromagnetic Fields, Habitat Change, Noise Ecosystem processes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Marine mammals, Sea turtles Construction, Operations & Maintenance Bates et al. 2017
Turbine collision Risk for Birds and Bats

Quantify mortality of birds and bats at offshore wind turbines and relate strikes to spatial, temporal, weather, operational conditions, and-species specific behaviors (e.g., flight height) and morphology (e.g., wingspan).

Turbine collision Bats, Birds Operations & Maintenance Maxwell et al. 2022, Cook et al. 2021
Use of Existing Seabird Data

Assess existing seabird data (e.g., tracking, diet) across all taxa for the offshore region of interest, and determine possible data compilation and analytical approaches for using these data collectively to inform siting decisions and risk assessments, as well as to identify gaps in data for...Read more

Assess existing seabird data (e.g., tracking, diet) across all taxa for the offshore region of interest, and determine possible data compilation and analytical approaches for using these data collectively to inform siting decisions and risk assessments, as well as to identify gaps in data for priority species. For example, evaluate whether the spatial resolution of existing data are sufficient and incorporate existing data layers into online data tools and models.

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Baseline Birds Pre-construction National Audubon Initiative 2022, Cook et al. 2021, Suryan et al. 2012