2020 State of the Science Workshop

State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy 2020: Cumulative Impacts

The 2020 State of the Science Workshop, hosted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was held virtually from November 16-20, 2020. This workshop brought together over 430 stakeholders engaged with environmental and wildlife research relevant to offshore wind energy development. Workshop sessions focused on assessing the state of the knowledge regarding offshore wind development's cumulative effects on populations and ecosystems. 

Following plenary presentations in November, seven workgroups have been meeting over the winter to identify research priorities for understanding offshore wind's cumulative impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates, birds, bats, and oceanographic processes in the eastern United States. A final webinar for this effort will bring together the leads from the seven workgroups to present their recommendations and discuss common themes among groups. The final webinar will be held on Friday, May 21st at 12-2 pm EDT.

 

This webinar is free and open to all workshop attendees and workgroup participants,
but we are asking that you please register in advance. 

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In late 2020 and early 2021, workshop attendees, with the guidance of technical leads, will participate in virtual workgroups to identify key research priorities for the next 3-5 years to improve our understanding of cumulative biological impacts as the offshore wind industry develops in the U.S.

 

Efforts will culminate in a final webinar on

Friday, May 21 at 12-2 pm EDT

to report the outcomes of work group efforts.

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Highlights

With over 430 attendees from 21 states and 20 countries, the workshop brought together a diverse group to share knowledge on cumulative impacts to wildlife from offshore wind development.  Workshop presentations included 23 plenary speakers and 20 lightning talks, with discussions focused around cumulative impact frameworks, current knowledge on different wildlife taxa, known and hypothesized cumulative effects to wildlife from offshore wind energy development, and opportunities for regional coordination and collaboration to continue improving our understanding of offshore wind and marine ecosystems.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Session recordings and other workshop platform content with be available for workshop registrants to access in Whova through May 21, 2021. Find additional logistics information here.

Workshop Goals

This workshop brought together scientists to present and discuss their research. Workshop goals included:

  •  Assessing the state of the knowledge regarding offshore wind development's cumulative effects on populations and ecosystems, and

  • Working to identify key studies that could be conducted in the next 3-5 years to improve our understanding of cumulative biological impacts as the offshore wind industry develops in the U.S.

Scientific Program

Terms of Use for Presentation PDFs

Links to presentations from the workshop are provided below where available, courtesy of the presentation authors. These presentation files are provided for personal edification only, and should not be cited without contacting the author(s) directly. Users should not reuse or redistribute slides, or images on these slides, without express permission from the presentation author(s).

Monday, November 16

Session 1: Framework for Understanding Cumulative Impacts from Offshore Wind

Moderator:
Howard Rosenbaum, Wildlife Conservation Society

Opening remarks from NYSERDA

Doreen Harris, Acting president and CEO of the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

 

Welcome and Setting the Stage

Gregory Lampman, NYSERDA

Cumulative anthropogenic impacts on the world's oceans

Sara Maxwell, University of Washington

Framework for defining the scope of cumulative adverse effects assessments for offshore wind

Wing Goodale, Biodiversity Research Institute

An ecosystem functioning approach for thinking about cumulative impacts

Steven Degraer, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Metapopulation PVA: Developing methods for reducing uncertainty in impact assessments

Julie Miller, Marine Scotland Science

Q & A / Panel discussion

Tuesday, November 17

Session 2: European Efforts to Understand Cumulative Impacts from Offshore Wind

Moderator: Sophie Hartfield Lewis, Ørsted

Session 3: Lightning Talks Round 1

Moderator: Matt Robertson, Vineyard Wind

5-minute submitted talks on offshore wind and wildlife topics, followed by Q&A.

Abstracts | Presentations

Wednesday, November 18

Session 4: Current Knowledge on Cumulative Impacts I

Moderator:

Jillian Liner, Audubon

New York

The Vineyard Wind SEIS: Assumptions made in the cumulative impact scenario

Ian Slayton, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Cumulative impacts of displacement on seabirds

Stefan Garthe, Kiel University

Cumulative impacts to birds from collisions with offshore wind farms

Aonghais Cook, British Trust for Ornithology

Q & A / Panel discussion

Session 5: Current Knowledge on Cumulative Impacts II

Moderator:

Ruth Perry, Shell

Cumulative physical effects of offshore wind energy development on oceanographic processes

Jeff Carpenter, Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht

Cumulative effects of offshore wind on benthic habitats

Drew Carey, INSPIRE Environmental

Cumulative noise impacts upon fishes (and turtles) from offshore wind construction and operation

Arthur Popper, University of Maryland & Anthony Hawkins, Loughine Ltd.

Designing studies to detect the ecological impacts of offshore wind development

Elizabeth Methratta, contractor to NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Q & A / Panel discussion

Thursday, November 19

Session 6: Current Knowledge on Cumulative Impacts III

Moderator:

Francine Kershaw, Natural Resources Defense Council

Decision framework to identify populations that are vulnerable to population-level effects of disturbance

Cormac Booth, SMRU Consulting

Cumulative noise impacts to marine mammals from offshore wind development and operations

Brandon Southall, Southall Environmental Associates Inc. & Howard Rosenbaum, Wildlife Conservation Society

Vessel encounter risk model tool

Mary Jo Barkaszi, CSA Ocean Sciences Inc.

Population impacts to bats from wind energy development

Cris Hein, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Q & A / Panel discussion

Session 7: Lightning Talks Round 2

Moderator: Jenny Briot, Avangrid Renewables

5-minute submitted talks on offshore wind and wildlife topics, followed by Q&A.

Abstracts | Presentations

Friday, November 20

Session 8: Designing Studies to Assess Cumulative Impacts

Moderator:

Louis Brzuzy, Shell New Energies

Synthesis of the science: interactions between offshore wind development and fisheries

Andrew Lipsky, NOAA Fisheries, Brian Hooker, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Annie Hawkins, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance & Lyndie Hice-Dunton, Responsible Offshore Science Alliance

Approaches to understanding cumulative effects of stressors on marine mammals

Peter Tyack, University of St. Andrews

Designing monitoring to detect cumulative impacts and address the confounding variable of climate change

Jon Hare, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Q & A / Panel discussion

Charge and process for working groups

Kate Williams, Biodiversity Research Institute

Closing remarks

Kate McClellan Press, NYSERDA

Session 9: Informal Breakout Groups

Group leads for the seven work groups hosted informal discussions to obtain initial input from workshop attendees. Groups included: benthos, fishes and mobile invertebrates, birds, bats, marine mammals, sea turtles, and environmental change. Learn more about work groups here.

Photo credits: Loggerhead sea turtle © Kate Sutherland