Offshore wind energy is critical for transitioning away from fossil fuels and mitigating climate change impacts, but it must be developed responsibly to safeguard marine life. The U.S. currently has minimal offshore wind capacity but faces pressure to rapidly scale it up. This has raised concerns about potential environmental impacts.
The Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind has recently proposed a collabrative effort develop a scientific process for evaluating monitoring and mitigation technologies that could accelerate offshore wind development while ensuring strong protections for marine mammals and other wildlife.
The process involves expert workshops to create performance criteria and impartially review newer technologies against current standards like seasonal construction restrictions. This could validate and facilitate faster deployment of solutions like automated whale detection software and passive acoustic monitoring.
This collaborative approach contends smart, scientifically-validated technologies can allow offshore wind and wildlife protections to coexist, while also benefiting other offshore industries too. The U.S. can model responsible offshore wind development through this collaborative science-based process between government, industry and environmental groups.
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