Offshore wind (OSW) and other renewable energy sources within the Great Lakes have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide and other air emissions, water usage by power plants and associated fish mortality within the Great Lakes. However, decision makers require knowledge of the potential impacts, both physical and biological, to evaluate the extent to which OSW development might impact the fishery and ecosystem of the Great Lakes to recommend appropriate measures to protect critical habitat and preserve self-sustaining fish populations. The subject of this sampling plan is Icebreaker Wind, the offshore wind project sponsored by Icebreaker Windpower 1 , which includes six 3.45 megawatt turbines and a transmission cable, proposed to be built in an area 8 to 10 miles off-shore of Cleveland, Ohio.
This Sampling Plan represents Icebreaker Windpower’s best judgment and approach to capture system dynamics and fish behavior. The Plan will be continually assessed through quarterly status reports and annual summaries and reviewed with ODNR and USFWS annually. The exact parameters of the Plan are flexible and will be subject to modification over time based on results of sampling. Revisions and adjustments to the Plan, which could include changes to the location of sampling, sampling frequency andduration, and sampling parameters, will be made as appropriate, in consultation with the ODNR and USFWS. Draft versions of the sampling plan were submitted to ODNR on May 10, 2016 and October 18, 2016. The version presented here is the final version. . Only a few minor changes to stations and sampling effort were made between the May 2016 version and the January 2017 version presented here. The sampling plan was also updated during the course of the 2016 field sampling to reflect the agreed upon sampling method and frequency discussed with ODNR and USFWS.
This Monitoring Plan describes the sampling that began in 2016 to meet the requirements of the ODNR Protocol. The plan is designed to collect physical, nutrient, and biological data at both the project and reference sites prior, during, and after construction activities. For the 2016 field season, this sampling covers the first year of pre-construction monitoring. This Plan is meant to serve as a template, which will be reviewed annually by ODNR, USFWS and LimnoTech to ensure that only necessary and relevant data are collected. The sampling protocol is organized into three major categories including: Fish Community/Lower Trophic Level Impacts Physical Habitat Impacts Fish Behavioral Impacts The sections below provide a brief overview of the monitoring activities for each category as well as description of the project team and field effort.