BOEM and NOAA announce joint strategy for fisheries surveys

Agencies aim to mitigate offshore wind development impacts

BOEM and NOAA announce joint strategy for fisheries surveys

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries are announcing a joint strategy to address potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on NOAA Fisheries’ scientific surveys. 

The Federal Survey Mitigation Strategy underscores the agencies’ shared commitment to the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals of responsibly advancing offshore wind energy production while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use.

NOAA Fisheries’ surveys are essential for sustainably managing our nation’s fisheries. For 150 years, the agency’s scientists have collected survey data that form the basis of the science-based management of America’s federal fisheries, support the protection and recovery of marine mammals and endangered and threatened species, and increase understanding and conservation of coastal and marine habitats and ecosystems for future generations.

Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, acting assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and deputy NOAA administrator, said:

“This joint strategy will help ensure the quality of NOAA’s fisheries surveys and data are maintained while the nation develops offshore wind energy. Our fisheries surveys allow NOAA to monitor important trends for individual species over time, with the broader goals of understanding marine ecosystems, particularly in the face of climate change, and supporting sustainable fisheries.”

Amanda Lefton, BOEM director, said:

“We are committed to incorporating the best available science into our decision making processes as we continue to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. By taking an all-of-government approach, we can leverage the expertise and resources of our federal partners to ensure responsible development of offshore wind energy.”

During the environmental review of the first offshore wind energy project on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, BOEM and NOAA Fisheries identified major adverse impacts on surveys conducted in the Northeast region. In response, a draft survey mitigation strategy was developed and made available for public comment earlier this year. Now finalized, the strategy identifies the essential components of mitigating the impacts of offshore wind energy development on the surveys.