Studies Suggest Little Impact from Offshore Wind on Endangered Species
New studies suggest that endangered marine species would not be significantly impacted by the construction and use of offshore wind farms off the Massachusetts coast.
The state and federal studies released this week were based on observations of whales, turtles, and marine birds over a period of four years in federally designated wind energy areas south of Martha's Vineyard.
Bill White of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center tells WBSM News while no immediate action needs to be taken, the studies offer suggestions to windfarm developers. "The importance of marine observers during construction. The importance of potentially time-of-year restrictions during certain construction activities to make sure that they would minimize impact. Also, some recommendations for additional data collection," White summarized.
White adds that offshore windfarms are relatively harmless when compared to the alternative. "Fundamentally, the biggest threat to wildlife is the burning of carbon and the warming of the atmosphere in global warming. And offshore wind's role in mitigating that, it's going to be a significant benefit not only to humans, but also to marine wildlife."
White says based on migratory patterns of endangered species, more observers may be required during certain times of year, and there may also need to be restraints on construction.