Marine spatial planners need to understand the potential consequences of offshore wind farm development at multiple levels and spatial/temporal scales. Comparatively little is still known about how offshore wind farms affect cultural ecosystem services and how this in turn can affect individual and societal well-being. Based on a survey of local residents in a case-study region on the North Sea coast of Germany, we describe the values commonly associated with the seascape and how these can be threatened by offshore wind farm development. We show that regime shifts in the cultural ecosystem-services domain can have knock-on effects in the socio-economic system on the coast, in particular at the level of perceived individual quality of life. At the same time, opportunities exist for using this change constructively and for the benefit of the region. Marine planning, if used on appropriate spatial scales and societal levels, can help to deal constructively with changes in sea use.
This is a book chapter in Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning.