Offshore wind energy is coming to the USA with the approval of the first commercial scale wind project on the Outer Continental Shelf and 17 currently active lease areas in the Atlantic. However, it is still unclear what impacts such development could have on wildlife including birds, bats, sea turtles, fish, and marine mammals. Regional-scale baseline information on wildlife distributions, abundance, and movements by season can inform the relative biodiversity of the development sites. These types of surveys can also provide a better understanding of the potential effects of individual projects, as well as any potential cumulative effects of multiple projects. To help address this information gap, BOEM tasked Normandeau Associates Inc. and their teaming partner APEM Inc. to complete quarterly high-altitude aerial digital surveys of SASA defined as the federal waters in the area off the coast of North and South Carolina out to the −30-m contour line. The approximate size of the area is 11,000 square nautical miles. Transect surveys were commissioned to cover a minimum of 5% of the SASA. In addition, a 20% transect resulting in a 10% grid-based survey of three WEAs plus a 1- NM buffer were also to be completed. A fourth call area was planned to be covered by extending the SASA line that falls within its boundary. The planned image resolution was 1.5-cm ground sampling distance at the surface of the ocean. Additional areas of interest identified by BOEM included fish spawning SMZs. Two of these areas were within the survey boundary and a flight line could be targeted through them. These surveys are the largest and most complex surveys ever conducted in the world.