The Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are separated from the Massachusetts mainland by Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds; water between the two islands flows through Muskeget Channel. The towns of Edgartown (on Martha's Vineyard) and Nantucket recognize that they are vulnerable to power supply interruptions due to their position at the end of the power grid, and due to sea level rise and other consequences of climate change. The tidal energy flowing through Muskeget Channel has been identified by the Electric Power Research Institute as the strongest tidal resource in Massachusetts waters. The Town of Edgartown proposes to develop an initial 5 MW (nameplate) tidal energy project in Muskeget Channel. The project will consist of 14 tidal turbines with 13 providing electricity to Edgartown and one operated by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth for research and development. Each turbine will be 90 feet long and 50 feet high. The electricity will be brought to shore by a submarine cable buried 8 feet below the seabed surface which will landfall in Edgartown either on Chappaquiddack or at Katama. Muskeget Channel is located between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Its depth ranges between 40 and 160 feet in the deepest portion. It has strong currents where water is transferred between Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean continental shelf to the south. This makes it a treacherous passage for navigation. Current users of the channel are commercial and recreational fishing, and cruising boats. The US Coast Guard has indicated that the largest vessel passing through the channel is a commercial scallop dragger with a draft of about 10 feet. The tidal resource in the channel has been measured by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the peak velocity flow is approximately 5 knots. The technology proposed is the helical Gorlov-type turbine positioned with a horizontal axis that is positively buoyant in the water column and held down by anchors. This is the same technology proposed by Ocean Renewable Power Company in the Western Passage and Cobscook Bay near Eastport Maine. The blades rotate in two directions capturing the tides energy both during flood and ebb tides. The turbines will be anchored to the bottom and suspended in the water column. Initial depth of the turbines is expected to be about 25 feet below the surface to avoid impacting navigation while also capturing the strongest currents. The Town of Edgartown was initially granted a Preliminary Permit by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on March 1, 2008, and has recently received a second permit valid through August 2014. The Preliminary Permit gives Edgartown the exclusive right to apply for a power generation license for power generated from the hydrokinetic energy in the water flowing in this area. Edgartown filed a Draft Pilot License Application with FERC on February 1, 2010 and an Expanded Environmental Notification Form with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office at the same time. It expects to file a Final License Application in late 2013. Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) of Burlington Massachusetts is acting as the Project Manager for the Town of Edgartown and collaborating with other partners of the project including the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth's Marine Renewable Energy Center and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. HMMH was awarded a grant under the Department of Energy's Advanced Water Program to conduct marine science and hydrokinetic site-specific environmental studies for projects actively seeking a FERC License. HMMH, on behalf of the Town, is managing this comprehensive study of the marine environment in Muskeget Channel and potential impacts of the tidal project on indicator species and habitats. The University of Massachusetts School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) conducted oceanographic studies of tidal currents, tide level, benthic habitat, and potential for biofouling and foundation scouring. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, cooperating with SMAST, developed an oceanographic model to predict changes in sediment transport as a result of the proposed tidal energy project. Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies prepared background material on protected species - including whales, seals, and sea turtles - in the project area and implemented an initial tagging program to record location specific information on seals and sea turtles. HMMH communicated research plans and findings with local stakeholder groups, state and federal resource agency staff, and the ocean power industry. The information is being used to prepare environmental permit applications and obtain approvals for project construction.