E-TWG Activities

Bird and Bat Scientific Research Framework

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has funded the development of a scientific research framework to guide the long-term study of potential impacts to birds and bats from offshore wind energy development in the eastern United States. This collaborative effort includes input from a range of stakeholders, including scientists, environmental nonprofits, regulators, and offshore wind energy developers.


The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently funded an effort to develop a scientific research framework for understanding the effects of offshore wind energy development on protected species (e.g., marine mammals and sea turtles) offshore of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In May of 2019, a group of stakeholders representing industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and state and federal agencies recognized the utility of this framework for guiding future funding and research, and identified the need for a similar research framework focused on birds and bats. NYSERDA committed to supporting the development of a bird and bat research framework under the auspices of the Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG).



The scientific research framework will guide the long-term study of potential impacts to birds and bats from offshore wind energy construction and operations in the eastern United States. The goal of this framework is to help ensure that research and monitoring efforts are focused on key priorities and are appropriately designed to improve the state of knowledge. Specific objectives include: 

•    Identify key questions related to impacts to birds and bats associated with offshore wind construction and 

      operations (specifically for the east coast of the United States from Massachusetts to North Carolina), 
•    Develop testable hypotheses to answer key questions, including methodological considerations (taxonomic focus,

      data collection, statistical power), and 
•    Identify data gaps and technological deficiencies that may inhibit our ability to answer these questions.

The framework document is being developed through a series of collaborative efforts in 2020, and is expected to be completed later this year.



NYSERDA convened a working meeting on March 4-6, 2020 to inform the development of the scientific research framework. The first two days of the workshop included invited experts from a range of sectors, including scientists, environmental nonprofits, regulators, and offshore wind energy developers. The third day of the workshop included a smaller group of subject matter experts, who used input received during the first two days to start developing the research framework document.


The workshop planning committee included representatives from NYSERDA, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Audubon New York, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Biodiversity Research Institute.

​A meeting summary from the workshop will be posted once it is available.





The complete workshop agenda can be found here. PDF links to workshop presentations are below. 

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).

Purpose and Context


Kate McClellan Press, NYSERDA; Kate Williams, Biodiversity Research Institute; Pat Field, Consensus Building Institute

Regulatory and Development Context

David Bigger, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Overview of Current Knowledge

European Review: Seabird Displacement and Barrier Effects

Ib Krag Petersen, Aarhus University

European Review: Seabird and Collision Risk

Aonghais Cook, British Trust for Ornithology

Seabird Distribution and Abundance Data

Arliss Winship, CSS Inc. and NOAA NCCOS

Seabird Movements and Finer-scale Habitat Associations in the Northwest Atlantic

Pam Loring, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Migration of Terrestrial Birds in the Offshore Environment

Andrew Farnsworth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Bats and Offshore Wind

Trevor Peterson, Stantec

Developing Hypotheses and Identifying Study Methods

Overview of Data Collection Methods: Displacement, Barrier Effects, Habitat Effects

Andy Webb, HiDef Aerial Surveying

Existing, New, and Emerging Technologies for Measuring Collisions

Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, Department of Energy

Analytical and Statistical Approaches for Testing Hypotheses

Andrew Farnsworth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Photo credits:  © Kate McClellan Press

The Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) is a New York State outreach and collaboration effort with environmental stakeholders and offshore wind energy developers.

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