APEM and Normandeau were contracted by Equinor to provide monthly aerial digital survey data of the Lease Area OCS-A 0512 offshore wind lease area from November 2017 until October 2018, to follow on from the first year of surveys.
The aims and objectives of the work required by Equinor were to assess the abundance and distribution, primarily of birds, present in the Lease Area OCS-A 0512 offshore wind lease area, and also to gather information on other marine fauna such as marine mammals, sharks, rays, and turtles for site characterization. NYSERDA contracted Normandeau & APEM to undertake four quarterly surveys of Lease Area OCS-A 0512 (as well as a wider area termed Offshore Planning Area) in order to form the ‘Year 1’ data collection. APEM were contracted by Equinor separately to undertake a further programme of monthly aerial digital surveys of Lease Area OCS-A 0512 from November 2017 to October 2018, which form the ‘Year 2’ data collection of Lease Area OCS-A 0512. The purpose of the Year 1 and Year 2 data sets is to provide the baseline information required for conducting impact assessments and will meet the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM's) regulatory requirements for environmental review.
The area surveyed comprised of the Lease Area OCS-A 0512 offshore wind lease area (its proposed turbine array footprint) plus a 4 km (2.5 miles) buffer surrounding it, referred to herein as the Lease Area OCS-A 0512 plus 4 km buffer. The data in this report represent the total number of birds, other marine fauna, and incidental occurrences recorded across all images within the Lease Area OCS-A 0512 plus 4 km buffer, with some additional data on species recorded that fall just outside the proposed Lease Area OCS-A 0512 offshore wind lease area plus buffer region.
To meet the objectives of the project, images were captured using a grid-based survey design with a 1.5 cm ground sampling distance (GSD). Images were analyzed by APEM and quality control was undertaken by Normandeau.
This annual report summarizes the information collected following the completion of 12 monthly aerial digital surveys of Lease Area OCS-A 0512 between November 2017 and October 2018.