Unites States backs six marine energy-fishing co-location projects in the northeast

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium and its partners have supported six projects to advance social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the Northeast United States. 

Illustration (Courtesy of Sea Grant/NOAA)
Illustration (Courtesy of Sea Grant/NOAA)

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium – in partnership with the US Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center – selected six projects to share over $1.1 million in federal funds, with each project matching 50% in non-federal funds.

The projects were selected as part of a funding opportunity, first announced in March 2021, whose aim is to catalyze research for the coexistence of marine energy – including wind, current, tidal, and wave energies – with Northeast fishing and coastal communities.

The innovative funding partnership applies the Sea Grant model to connect science and tools directly with communities and ocean users. In addition, to effectively translate the results of the funded research for use by communities, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center designated $350,000 in federal funding in parallel with the research projects.

As part of these efforts, Northeast Sea Grant program extension staff will work directly with fishing communities and other stakeholders to provide scientific, legal, and policy research support in response to fishing community needs.

The following projects have been selected for support:

  • Community Engagement and Stakeholder Perceptions of Floating Offshore Wind (Project Lead: Alison Bates, Colby College) will develop a stakeholder database, survey tools, and holistic outreach strategy to evaluate community perceptions of offshore wind, identify the capacity and necessary conditions for stakeholders to coexist with offshore wind, and present recommendations for equitable solutions.

Kelly Speakes-Backman, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the US Department of Energy, said: “The United States has abundant wind and water power resources along our coastlines that can help our nation, and our coastal and marine communities in particular, reach a 100% clean energy economy with net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

“At the same time, we recognize communities and local economies depend on the ocean for their livelihoods and way of life. Through this research partnership with the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, we can better understand and optimize these shared uses of the ocean.”

This research and extension will benefit a variety of ocean users and stakeholders by providing the community-focused tools required for equitable and sustainable development of the Northeast’s coastal and ocean resources, according to the US Department of Energy.


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