Regional Wildlife Science Entity
Effective, multi-sectoral, regional collaboration is needed to successfully advance environmentally responsible offshore wind power development activities in U.S. waters.
Recognizing the Need
Starting at the inaugural State of the Science Workshop in 2018, E-TWG members and other stakeholders expressed the importance of developing a regional science entity to support research and monitoring on wildlife and offshore wind energy. The E-TWG initiated a Specialist Committee to further this topic in early 2019, with coordination support from Cadmus Group and the Consensus Building Institute.
Building from these early efforts, a strong stakeholder engagement process was initiated to develop the current vision for a Regional Wildlife Science Entity (RWSE) for Atlantic Offshore Wind. The process was led by a "Coordinating Group", or representative group of stakeholders along the Atlantic Coast including NYSERDA, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shell, Equinor, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).
Developing a Vision
A properly structured RWSE will provide a range of benefits, including:
Identifying priorities for scientific research and monitoring at the project,
regional and ecosystem-wide scales
Coordinating and aligning funding to meeting those priorities
Ensuring appropriate data and standards are in place to support science
The Organizational Vision document is the result of an 18-month engagement
effort and outlines:
The stakeholder engagement effort used to develop the document
RWSE mission and objectives
Proposed RWSE organizational structure
Vision for pilot funding requirements and initial research activities
This document and associated stakeholder engagement processes were
sponsored by NYSERDA, MassCEC, and BOEM.
Request for Qualifications
NYSERDA and MassCEC, in collaboration with the RWSE Interim Steering Committee, have officially announced the Regional Wildlife Science Entity for Offshore Wind Request for Qualifications (RFQL). The RFQL can be found here and will be open until March 11, 2021.
NYSERDA, in collaboration with MassCEC, is looking to secure a qualified entity to serve as the fiscal agent for the RWSE. In order to successfully advance environmentally responsible offshore wind power development activities in U.S. waters, this fiscal agent will financially manage multi-sectoral, regional collaboration and science around offshore wind and wildlife for the East Coast of the United States. A Director is needed to coordinate the activities of the RWSE, including supporting an Interim Steering Committee (a group of stakeholders representing four sectors: regional states, federal agencies, environmental non-governmental organizations and offshore wind developers) and other stakeholders associated with the RWSE.
Photo credits: Short-beaked common dolphins © Anthony Pierce