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.
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
David Bigger, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Overview of Current Knowledge
Ib Krag Petersen, Aarhus University
Aonghais Cook, British Trust for Ornithology
Arliss Winship, CSS Inc. and NOAA NCCOS
Pam Loring, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Andrew Farnsworth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Trevor Peterson, Stantec
Developing Hypotheses and Identifying Study Methods
Andy Webb, HiDef Aerial Surveying
Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, Department of Energy
Analytical and Statistical Approaches for Testing Hypotheses
Andrew Farnsworth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Photo credits: Dogfish shark © Boris Pamikov - shutterstock; Northern gannet © Benoit Gauzere - Unsplash; Bats © Clement Falize - Pixabay