US Wind proposes to construct and operate the Maryland Offshore Wind Project (the Project) to generate clean, renewable energy using available wind resources. The Project will be located within US Wind’s Lease area, approximately 10 nautical miles east of Maryland’s Eastern Shore (Figure 1). All Project analysis is centered at the modeling site, 38.3°N, 74.7°W.
Construction and operation of the Project has the potential to cause acoustic harassment to marine species, in particular marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish populations. Marine Acoustics, Inc. (MAI) was contracted to model and assess the sources of underwater noise generated during the construction and installation of the Project and the effect of sound attenuation methods as a means of mitigation. The objective of this modeling study was to predict the ranges to acoustic thresholds that could result in permanent threshold shift (PTS), temporary threshold shift (TTS), or behavioral disruption of marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish during construction of the Project.