This report supplements the Kitty Hawk North Wind Construction and Operations Plan.
RPS was contracted by TerraSond to conduct benthic grab sampling; post-process the grab data and video collected in conjunction with grabs; and compile this benthic assessment report for the survey conducted within Lease OCS-A 0508 (Kitty Hawk Wind) offshore of North Carolina in February 2020. The grab sample data and video imagery data presented 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 and according to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS 2020) modified CMECS. This report provides:
• A description of the benthic grab sampling methods, results, and analyses;
• A description and analysis of the video data collected;
• The analysis of benthic macroinvertebrate data from benthic grabs using summary statistics and metrics such as taxa richness, density, community composition, etc.; and
• CMECS substrate and biotic classifications of each sampling station based on imagery and grain size results.