Responsible wind development in the Gulf of Maine
SAFE’s program on protecting wildlife while developing offshore wind, New England’s greatest renewable resource, is now available on youtube.
On January 12, 2023, Amber Hewett, program director for offshore wind at the National Wildlife Federation, moderated a discussion with two wind advocates and conservation experts, Eliza Donoghue of Maine Audubon and Kelt Wilska of Maine Conservation Voters. Donoghue and Wilska would like to see offshore wind deployed in the Gulf of Maine, but they noted, because of the deep water, the technology is not available yet. In the not-too-distant future, however, we can expect to see floating turbines capable of producing immense power in deep ocean water.
In the not-too-distant future, however, we can expect to see floating turbines capable of producing immense power in deep ocean water.
These turbines, which will be in federal waters, are not likely to disturb migrating birds, said Donoghue, because they will be far offshore. But she is concerned about the impact on nesting seabirds, which dot the islands off the coast. Wilska’s organization is working to ensure the new offshore wind industry can coexist with Maine’s lobster and fishing industries and with large mammals such as the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Both speakers insisted “more research is needed” to ensure that future offshore wind developments adequately protect birds and marine species.