Renewable Energy Research Ongoing Studies

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BOEM-funded research continues to contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge on the marine environment and informs BOEM's decision-making regarding renewable energy planning, leasing, and development efforts. Take a look at the studies underway to learn more:

Highlighted studies:

  • The Realtime Opportunity for Development Environmental Observations (RODEO) study takes direct, real-time measurements of the nature, intensity, and duration of potential stressors during the construction and initial operations of selected offshore wind facilities. Data collected under RODEO may be used to help inform future decision making on offshore wind. For more information, please see:

Birds and Bats 

Tracking Movements of Terns that Use New England Staging Sites 

  • Deploying new tracking technology to describe post-breeding offshore movements of common terns.

Transparent modeling of collision risk for three federally-listed bird species to offshore wind development

  • Developing a new modeling approach to evaluate the risk of collision of birds with offshore wind turbines


Cultural and Archaeological Resources 

Capacity Building and Collaboration with the Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes 

  • Collaborating with Tribes to include tribal understanding of the marine and coastal environment

Environmental Fates and Effects 

Assessment of Chemicals Associated with Offshore Wind Facilities and Potential Environmental Impacts on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

  • Evaluating chemicals used for offshore wind and their potential environmental consequences

Real-time Opportunity for Development Environmental Observations (RODEO) II

  • Evaluating sound data collected during construction at Block Island Wind Farm to evaluate the propagation of sound in sediments

Sediment-borne Wave Disturbances and Propagation and Potential Effects on Benthic Fauna

  • Modeling sound from pile driving in sediments

Environmental Monitoring 

Ecological Baseline Study of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Off Maine

  • Collecting baseline data of marine species distribution using aerial surveys of the Gulf of Maine

Standardizing Integrated Ecosystem-Based Assessment Nationally

  •  Developing methodology to apply ecosystem-based management to offshore wind development

Wildlife and Offshore Wind (WOW): A Systems Approach to Research and Risk Assessment for Offshore Wind Development from Maine to North Carolina

  • Using observations and modeling to asses the risk to marine life from offshore wind development


Fish and Fisheries 

A Database and Acoustic Reference Catalog of Marine Fish Sounds—Atlantic Pilot

  • Creating a library of fish sounds to identify fish collected in the marine environment from datasets collected using acoustic monitoring.

Behavioral Effects of Sound Sources from Offshore Renewable Energy Construction on the Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata) and Longfin Inshore Squid (Doryteuthispealeii): A Field Study

  • Examining the effects of offshore windfarm construction noise on two key commercially and ecological important taxa, squid and black sea bass, using field-based controlled exposures

Development of a Strategy to Evaluate NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Fishery Resource Surveys Affected by Offshore Wind Development

  • Using expert scientists to develop survey methodologies addressing effects from presence of offshore wind structures

Evaluating Effectiveness of Nature Inclusive Design Materials

  • Examining several types of scour and cable protection materials for their ability to support marine life

Exploring the Connectivity Among Offshore Wind Turbines

  • Using telemetry and other innovative techniques to evaluate the movements of fish species between turbines

Linking multiple data sources to better describe fishing vessel activity on the Atlantic OCS

  • Exploring how observations of fishing vessels from wildlife surveys can enhance the characterization of fishing vessel activity derived from AIS/VMS data

Movement Patterns of Fish in Southern New England

  • Using new technologies to study cod and other fish species in the Southern New England Area

Surveying Commercial Fish Species and Habitat in Wind Farm Areas Using a Suite of Non-Lethal Survey Methods

  • Employing non-lethal, state of the art techniques to survey fish and habitat within and around wind farms

Understanding of Atlantic Sturgeon Migratory Patterns – Integrating Telemetry and Genetics

  • Connecting genetics and fish movements to better understand how sturgeon migrate between rivers and the ocean


Marine Mammals and Other Protected Species 

Assessing Population Effects of Offshore Wind Development on North Atlantic Right Whales

  • Using modeling to assess the effects from offshore wind development on the North Atlantic Right Whale

Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS) - Photogrammetric Aerial Surveys to Improve Detection and Classification of Seabirds, Cetaceans, and Sea Turtles

  • Comparing observation methodologies using traditional survey methods and new technologies.

Behavioral Response of Sea Turtles from Controlled Exposures to a Mobile Impulsive Sound Source

  • Using telemetry to determine how leatherback sea turtles respond to a sound source in the ocean

Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species III

  • Continuation of broad-scale surveys for marine mammals and turtles on the outer continental shelf

Comparative Study of Aerial Survey Techniques

  • Using two survey data sets collected using different methods to compare results

Endangered Atlantic Sturgeon Habitat Use in Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Area

  • Provide information on the seasonal patterns of occurrence and habitat use as well as explore the underlying causal mechanisms for Atlantic sturgeon habitat selection in and around the Virginia WEA and the Sandbridge Shoal sand borrow site in BOEM’s Mid-Atlantic Planning Area.

Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (GoMMAPPS)

  • Improve information about protected living marine resources through multi-year surveys of marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

Investigating Persistent Super Aggregations of Right Whales and Their Prey in Lease Areas in the North Atlantic

  • Using field investigations to link right whale distributions with their prey

Mapping Abundance, Distribution, and Foraging Ecology of Gray Seals in the North Atlantic

  • Using satellite tagging to understand the distribution and foraging ecology of Gray Seals in Southern New England Wind Energy Areas

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Field Surveys and Marine Resource Characterization for Offshore Wind Energy Planning Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts

  • Continuing of aerial surveys over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island wind energy areas

Passive Acoustic Monitoring in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Wind Energy Areas in Support of the Partnership for an Offshore Wind Energy Regional Observation Network (POWERON)

  • Deploying passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern New England area

Protected Species Database and Information Management

  • Creating a database of protected species observer data to enhance observations of protected species

Risk Assessment to Model Encounter Rates Between Large Whales and Vessel Traffic from Offshore Wind Energy – PHASE II

  • Updating the risk assessment model and extending to regions beyond the Atlantic

Physical Environment 

Offshore Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Across Technology Types for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

  • Provide a comprehensive survey across the various types of offshore renewable energy technologies and perform an assessment of their technical and economic feasibility in the Gulf of Mexico to inform the Bureau’s strategic planning.

Offshore Wind Impacts on Oceanographic Processes: North Carolina to New York

  • Developing models of oceanographic processes to understand how wind development may alter those processes

Social, Economic and Cultural Resources 

Coastal Landscape/Seascape Character Classification and Assessment Methodology Development

  • Standardizing methodologies for evaluating scenic and visual resource impacts from offshore wind development


Workshops and Literature Synthesis 

A Comprehensive Assessment of Existing Gulf of Maine Ecosystem Data and Identification of Data Gaps to Inform Future Research

  • Synthesizing existing ecosystem data in the Gulf of Maine and determining additional data needs 

Support for Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative Ocean Portal Products and Services

  • Developing data products for the regional ocean data portals