The Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project was funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office in 2011, with additional support from a wide range of partners. The study was intended to help address environmental barriers to offshore wind energy development in the mid-Atlantic region and promote the incorporation of environmental data into siting and permitting processes. The study goal was to provide regulators, developers, and other stakeholders with comprehensive baseline ecological data and analyses that could help address environmental permitting requirements for current and future projects, and would serve as a starting point for more site-specific studies. In particular, we produced information that could be used to identify: 1) important wildlife areas, 2) data gaps, and 3) approaches for collecting and incorporating natural resource data into decision making. To address this goal, project funders and collaborators from a range of academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, federal agencies, foundations, and private companies came together to study bird, sea turtle, and marine mammal distributions, densities, and movements on the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf between 2012 and 2014. The specific study area in the mid-Atlantic was chosen because it was viewed as a likely region for near-term wind energy development offshore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, particularly within three federally designated Wind Energy Areas (WEAs).
To access the full-color summary report including project goals, activities, and an overview of the results from the final technical report for the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project, click here: Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Studies: Distribution and Abundance of Wildlife along the Eastern Seaboard 2012-2014.
Below are the individual sections of the final technical report:
Table of Contents and Executive Summary
- Chapter 1: Ecosystem background and project activities
- Chapter 2: Synthesis of project findings
Introduction to Part II: Examining wildlife distributions and relative abundance from a digital video aerial survey platform
- Chapter 3: High resolution digital video aerial survey methods
- Chapter 4: High resolution digital video aerial survey data protocols
- Chapter 5: Summary of high resolution digital video aerial survey data
- Chapter 6: Recommendations for high resolution digital video aerial surveys in the U.S.
Introduction to Part III: Examining wildlife distributions and abundance using boat-based surveys
- Chapter 7: Boat survey protocol for Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies
- Chapter 8: Summary of boat survey data
- Chapter 9: Monitoring aquatic biomass via hydroacoustics: echo sounding data processing and summary of results
- Chapter 10: Spatial association between seabirds and prey on the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf
- Chapter 11: A community distance sampling model to investigate the abundance and distribution of seabirds
- Chapter 12: Predicting the offshore distribution and abundance of marine birds from shipboard surveys, using a hierarchical community distance sampling model
Introduction to Part IV: Integrating data across survey platforms
- Chapter 13: Integrating novel and historical survey methods: a comparison of standardized boat-based and digital video aerial surveys for marine wildlife in the United States
- Chapter 14: Summary of boat and aerial datasets: comparison between survey methods
- Chapter 15: Density modeling for marine mammals and sea turtles with environmental covariates
- Chapter 16: Modeling species assignment in strip transect surveys with uncertain species identification
- Chapter 17: Integrating data across survey methods to identify spatial and temporal patterns in wildlife distributions
- Chapter 18: Comparison of boat and aerial models of seabird abundance with environmental covariates
- Chapter 19: Developing an integrated model of marine bird distributions with environmental covariates using boat and digital video aerial survey data *This chapter is in draft form
Introduction to Part V: Individual movements and habitat use for focal bird species
- Chapter 20: Wintering movements and habitat use of Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
- Chapter 21: Wintering movements and habitat use of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
- Chapter 22: Wintering movements and habitat use of Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
- Chapter 23: Incorporating temporal variation in seabird telemetry data: time variant kernel density models
- Chapter 24: Using state-space models to identify areas of persistent winter activity and their associated environmental covariates in Northern Gannets
- Chapter 25: Offshore migration of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) along the Atlantic Flyway
Introduction to Part VI: Nocturnal avian migration monitoring
- Chapter 26: Passive acoustics pilot study: nocturnal avian migration in the mid-Atlantic
- Chapter 27: Using WSR-88 weather radar to identify patterns of nocturnal avian migration in the offshore environment