US Wind is developing an offshore wind project (Project) with up to 2 gigawatts within OCS-A 0490 (Site), an area off the coast of Maryland on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The Project would include as many as 121 wind turbine generators, up to four offshore substations, and one MET tower in the roughly 80,000-acre Lease area. OCS-A 0490 has an adjacent active Lease Area OCS-A 0519 known as Skip Jack.
The purpose of the Survey Plan is to:
Provide a survey strategy that can both validate data collected in the Site between 2012 and 2014 and provide up-to-date biological information throughout the development stages of the Project
Provide a baseline survey strategy that when implemented as part of both pre- and postconstruction monitoring has the appropriate statistical power to detect changes in distribution and densities of birds
Collect data that would assist in reducing uncertainty surrounding the potential risks of impacts to some migrating bird species
Inform BOEM and other regulatory agencies including the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on bird avoidance of an offshore wind facility, providing sufficient data to quantify distance of displacement and significant changes in densities
Provide additional information on the avoidance of vessel traffic by birds, providing sufficient data to quantify distance of displacement and significant changes in densities
Provide additional information on the performance of bird and bat monitoring technologies, specifically detection thresholds of buoy-based detectors and receivers