This report supplements the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Construction and Operations Plan.
RPS was contracted by Terrasond to conduct benthic video and grab sampling, post-process the video collected, and compile this benthic assessment report for surveys conducted within four metocean data collection Buoy Installation Areas (IAs) and eight other Sites of Interest (SOIs) in the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind (ASOW) Lease Area (OCS-A 0499) located offshore of New Jersey. The grab samples and video imagery data conclusions presented here will support interpretation of geophysical data to characterize surficial sediment conditions and classify the benthic habitat according to the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classifications Standards (CMECS; FGDC 2012) in accordance with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) guidelines. This report provides:
- A description of the benthic grab sampling methods, results, and analysis;
- The analysis of benthic grab sampling results using some key statistical analyses such as taxa richness, density per cubic meter, community composition, etc.;
- A description and analysis of the video data collected; and
- CMECS classifications of each sample site based on the video and grain size analyses.