The goal of the Near-Turbine Monitoring and Mitigation Plan is to confirm the environmental analyses, including effects on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and/or species in the Washington State Priority Habitat and Species (PHS) List and, where possible, their designated critical habitat, and conduct any monitoring required for incidental take. The goal is also to mitigate for proposed effects, based on information gathered through this Plan. In implementing the plan, four hypotheses will be tested:
- Hypothesis 1: Strobe illumination may result in a species-specific startle response, avoidance response, or attraction.
- Hypothesis 2: The turbines may attract marine animals due to the area of refuge offered by the low-velocity wake.
- Hypothesis 3: Marine animals are unlikely to pass through the rotor or open center during turbine operation. Investigation of this hypothesis will test the assumption that although listed and other aquatic species may be shown near the turbine rotor, these aquatic species will not be struck by a moving turbine rotor.
- Hypothesis 4: The turbines may attract marine animals due to an artificial reef effect.
- Hypothesis 5: Fish may avoid the turbine due to its pressure field or sound (particle velocity or acoustic pressure).