Our monitoring and research investments are aimed at generating data and science that informs the development and operation of our specific project, as well as contributing to a better understanding of overall cumulative effects of the growing U.S. offshore wind industry and the impacts – positive and negative – to ocean resources in the North Atlantic. We are focused on applying lessons learned from the U.S. and abroad and on identifying unique and innovative approaches to environmental mitigation and monitoring and minimizing impacts to local communities.
Geophysical and geotechnical surveys provide critical data about the seafloor and subsea for evaluation in the project design and permitting process. Throughout the Summer/Fall 2021 survey season, 47 crew aboard the GO Liberty, GO Pursuit, and Westerly survey vessels were challenged to take photos that embodied the nature of their work.
Partnerships for scaling impact
We look for opportunities to transcend boundaries. For example, in 2020 LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data was acquired using a pulsed laser sensor mounted to an aircraft. LiDAR data can be used for surface (topography) and underwater (bathymetry) depth mapping up to ~15-meters in water depth. SouthCoast Wind offered the Town of Falmouth its 2020 aerial LiDAR data to assist in coastal resiliency planning and other applications.
Another example is our support of the New England Aquarium and Inspire Environmental to study the movements of highly migratory fish species (sharks, tunas, and marlins) in and around the SouthCoast Wind federal offshore lease area as well as the recreational fishery for these species. By funding this research, SouthCoast Wind can help to better understand the distributions, densities, and movements of these species, where recreational fishing is occurring, and how these dynamics may interplay with offshore wind development. The other New England offshore wind lease owners are also funding this research, representing a unique collaboration to study species that move at scales larger than any one developer’s lease area.
Real time metocean data available
SouthCoast Wind has partnered with the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) to share real-time weather and ocean data collected by the buoy for mariners and the scientific community to use. NERACOOS’ mission is to produce, integrate, and communicate high quality information that helps ensure safety, economic and environmental resilience, and sustainable use of the coastal ocean. SouthCoast Wind’s floating buoy data will help to support these efforts and help to inform other research efforts in the Atlantic region by serving as a platform for equipment used in regional scientific studies.