Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders) respectfully submits these comments on the March 22, 2022 workshop on the Conservation Biology Institute’s (CBI) spatial modeling for California’s offshore wind energy (OSW). Defenders, on behalf of our 323,000 members and supporters in California, works towards the protection of wildlife, ecosystems, and landscapes while supporting the timely development of renewable energy resources in California. Achieving a low carbon energy future is critical for California – for our economy, our communities, and the environment. Achieving this future—and how we achieve it—is critical for protecting California’s internationally treasured wildlife, landscapes, productive farmlands, and diverse habitats.
We appreciate the Commission staff and CBI’s efforts in developing a spatial model for OSW planning. OSW planning and AB 525 implementation require transparent, data-driven spatial mapping tools to enable informed decision-making. The spatial modeling tools need to be readily available and user-friendly so agencies and stakeholders can actively engage and issue spot for OSW in both federal and state waters. CBI’s tool is a strong step towards meeting that need and we are excited to see the progress.