In this issue:
2021 G&G Survey Campaign Underway
Interviews with the Crew: Q&A with SouthCoast Staff
Real Time Metocean Data Available
2021 G&G Survey Campaign Underway
Robust, science-driven decision making is critical as we identify innovative and effective approaches for the development and operation of the SouthCoast Wind offshore wind energy project. Geophysical and geotechnical (G&G) surveys launch this week and will provide key data about the seafloor and subsea for evaluation in the ongoing project design and permitting process.
Multiple vessels will conduct G&G surveys both within SouthCoast Wind’s federal offshore lease area and along potential export cable routing from April-August 2021. The 2021 surveys continue data acquisition work started in 2019.
- All survey activities are performed in accordance with federal and state regulations and health and safety policies and procedures
- Notifications are provided to the US Coast Guard and Department of Navy
- Vessels have on board Protected Species Observers (PSOs) operators to identify and appropriately manage any issues involving protected marine wildlife, especially marine mammals and sea turtles
- Lease area vessels have on board Fisheries Representatives to identify and appropriately manage any issues involving fisheries
- Active coordination is underway with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association to minimize impacts to fisheries in the survey areas
Download the 2021 Geophysical Surveys PDF for more information about the vessels leaving port in the coming days. We’ll provide updates throughout the survey season.
Our outreach and advocacy team has connected virtually with new stakeholders in Falmouth and across the Commonwealth over the past month. We have been continuing our ongoing commitment to science, technology, engineering, math, and renewable energy education though virtual visits with local schools and universities. Most recently, we enjoyed getting to know high school students at Falmouth Academy and graduate students with the Offshore Wind Professional Certificate Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We also spoke remotely with the Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation at their monthly board meeting.
Thank you to the stakeholders who have taken the time to meet with us and learn more about the SouthCoast Wind project, and we hope to connect with even more groups and individuals moving forward.
Link: If your Cape Cod organization or community group is interested in SouthCoast Wind representatives providing a virtual presentation, please email Kelsey Perry at email@example.com
Interviews with the Crew:
Q&A with SouthCoast Staff
Julia Jackson, Offshore Permitting Analyst
Q: Where did you grow up in Massachusetts?
Julia: Andover. My mom grew up in Andover as well. My mom is Chinese, my grandparents came to the United States from China in the 40s or 50s. They originally came to California and ended up moving to the East Coast for school. My grandfather is an engineer, so he got his PhD in engineering in Massachusetts. They have been here ever since.
Q: How did you know you were interested in joining the offshore wind industry?
Julia: I have always loved the ocean. I love marine biology, oceanography, everything to do with the ocean. I’ve also grown interested in renewable energy, and I thought offshore wind would be a great place for me because it’s a mix. I studied Environmental Engineering at Dartmouth College. I did not know I wanted to do environmental engineering, I picked that after taking some general engineering courses. Once I started specializing in the environmental part a bit more, I really loved it. I found some great professors who helped me to figure out my interests, and I had an opportunity to do internships with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and New England Aquarium. I researched marine mammals, so I got to go out on their whale watching boats and collect data, teach people on the boats about the marine mammals in the area. During my last semester at Dartmouth, I ended up doing an independent study focusing on the environmental impacts of offshore wind.
Q: What are some of your personal hobbies and passions outside of work?
Julia: That’s a great question! I used to play ice hockey in high school, and I have always wanted to build an ice hockey rink in my backyard. But we never did because it was a lot of work, and growing up my parents were, like, “no way.” This year since I’m living at home in Andover, I was determined. “I’m going to do it! I’m going to build an ice hockey rink.” So, we did! My dad, boyfriend and I built an ice hockey rink in our backyard. It was a crazy process because we did not really know how to do it, but we have a neighbor that helped. There were lots of moments when we thought we did it wrong and we thought it would totally fail, but it ended up working. It was relatively cold this winter, so it lasted. We were able to use it for most of the winter.
Joel Southall, Fisheries Liaison Officer
Q: What’s the most challenging thing about what you do?
Joel: I like working with a broad range of people. I appreciate the academic side, but I also enjoy the practical applied version. How the academic fits with the economic, social, human behavioral sides, and how they all fit together. A huge challenge has been the COVID-19 pandemic and not being able to go out and see people. I would love to be able to get out and talk to every fisherman and hold forums and so on. The fishing industry is not a single monolith. There’s recreational and commercial, and there are different types under that, and it also comes down to individual personalities. Not being able to have face to face interactions and get to know some people that has all complicated the process.
Q: What’s the best thing about your job?
Joel: I get to learn a lot. I get to do a lot of learning on all sides. Being able to interact with nice people and learn from them while being a part of something so important for our collective future.
Q: What would you tell a young person studying to be or thinking about becoming a fisheries liaison officer in the industry?
Joel: Get direct experience with the fishing industry. The real important part is to get experience in a way that lets you understand what fishermen of all kinds, recreational and commercial, ground fish, supply chain, are dealing with. It’s about fishmen but it’s also about the seafood industry. Get experience that allows you to understand why they are saying what they are saying and what they are interested in. Get experience so that you can understand what it’s like to be a fisherman. You don’t have to be a commercial fisherman, but you really need to try to put yourself in their shoes. The most important thing is to be a respectful and active listener that is taking all of the different points of view into consideration.
Q: Do you have any favorite places to fish?
Joel: I love fishing down the South Coast, my girlfriend actually has a house in Dartmouth. I surf cast for scup and other stuff down there. However, most of the time its easiest for me to just fish right where I live. I live on Spy Pond in Arlington and I have a kayak down there. When the fishing picks up, I try to make it out most days for at least a half hour. I can just run down there whenever.
SouthCoast Wind In the News
White House pushes new offshore wind power expansion
Politico, March 29, 2021
Biden touts offshore wind plan
Cape Cod Times, March 29, 2021
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. Visit NERACOOS to view the data!