E-TWG Activities

Development of Guidance for Pre- and Post-Construction Monitoring to Detect Changes in Marine Bird Distributions and Habitat Use Related to

Offshore Wind Development

The Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG), in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is supporting development of guidance for pre- and post-construction monitoring to detect macro-to meso-scale changes in avian distributions and habitat use in relation to offshore wind development. An expert Specialist Committee co-chaired by USFWS and BOEM biologists is developing guidance that identifies 1) key displacement- and attraction-related questions, 2) appropriate methodologies to address those questions, and 3) study design and analytical recommendations specifically for boat-based and aerial surveys.

This effort is intended to:

  • Encourage consistency in pre- and post-construction monitoring across projects,

  • Facilitate use of site-specific data to address information gaps on displacement of birds at regional scales,

  • Improve efficiency and thus reduce costs of monitoring,

  • Reduce duplicative efforts,

  • Ensure generation of meaningful results, and

  • Address knowledge gaps that could inform the broader understanding of potential cumulative impacts from offshore wind development.

Avian Displacement Committee Membership

The avian displacement committee is co-chaired by US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Committee members include British Trust for Ornithology, CSS, Inc. under contract to NOAA NCCOS, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Orsted, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Biodiversity Research Institute, Terra Mar Applied Sciences, LLC under contract to National Audubon Society, AECOM, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., APEM/Normandeau, The Nature Conservancy, HiDef Aerial Surveying, TotalEnergies, and Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. The committee is moderated by NYSERDA, with technical support provided by the Biodiversity Research Institute.

Broad input from other stakeholders will be incorporated into the committee's efforts via a virtual workshop and/or a public comment period on draft products. If you are interested in receiving more information about these opportunities, please sign up for the E-TWG mailing list or email Julia Gulka

Image by Ray Hennessy
Image by Maria Maliy
Image by Nicholas Doherty

Photo credits: Dogfish shark © Boris Pamikov - shutterstock;Razorbill © Ray Hennessy; Gulls © Maria Maliy; Wind turbines © Nicholas Doherty