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Image by Thomas Kelley

Whale Communications Committee

Whale Communications Committee

The Offshore Wind Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) formed a specialist committee in 2023 to develop communications materials to aid in the dissemination of accurate, readily understandable information around recent whale mortality events and the level of potential risk to whales from offshore wind energy development activities. 

 

This committee has developed a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as a resource for stakeholders who are in direct communication with the general public and receive questions related to whales and offshore wind. The intent of this effort is to provide scientifically sound, accurate answers to address common questions. Given the urgency of disseminating accurate information, this FAQ resource will be updated over time to address emerging questions related to whales and offshore wind energy development.

Please fill out this survey to provide input on the topics that the committee should cover and/or indicate your willingness to provide your expertise in draft product development. For additional information on the whale communications committee or other E-TWG activities, please contact Julia Gulka.

Resources 

Offshore wind farms are typically comprised of turbines, whose rotors convert mechanical energy from wind into electrical energy, and an offshore substation, which are linked to each other by a network of electrical cables. The electricity is transported onshore via export cables (which are typically buried in the seafloor) so that the energy can be integrated into the electrical grid. Turbines can either have fixed foundations, in which the foundation is driven into the seabed, or floating foundations, which have a series of anchors attached to the foundation via mooring lines. Floating turbine designs are newer and are generally deployed in much deeper waters (50-300 m, or 164-984 ft).

Offshore wind farms are typically comprised of turbines, whose rotors convert mechanical energy from wind into electrical energy, and an offshore substation, which are linked to each other by a network of electrical cables. The electricity is transported onshore via export cables (which are typically buried in the seafloor) so that the energy can be integrated into the electrical grid. Turbines can either have fixed foundations, in which the foundation is driven into the seabed, or floating foundations, which have a series of anchors attached to the foundation via mooring lines. Floating turbine designs are newer and are generally deployed in much deeper waters (50-300 m, or 164-984 ft).

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Addressing Misinformation on Offshore Wind Farms and Recent Whale Mortalities 

Department of Energy |  Link

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society 2023 Stranding Summary 

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society |  Link

Associated Press: Contrary to politicians' claims, offshore wind farm don't kill whales.
Associated Press| Link 

Conserving Marine Wildlife Fact Sheet

Equinor | Link 

The Dynamic Ocean: Offshore Wind Energy and Other Activities in the New York Bight
NYSERDA | Link

Discovery of Sound in the Sea Frequently Asked Questions 

DOSITS | Link

Gotham Whale FAQ

Gotham Whale | Link 

Update on Strandings of Large Whales Along the East Coast 

Marine Mammal Commission | Link 

Understanding Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events FAQ 

NOAA Fisheries | Link 

RealOffshoreWind Frequently Asked Questions on Offshore Wind

RealOffshoreWind | Link

Photo credits: Humpback whale © Thomas Kelley - Unsplash; Whales spout © Ryan Stone- Unsplash; Wind farm © David Will - pixabay;

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