May 2, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and over a dozen other organizations are pushing federal officials to consider environmental impacts before designating areas for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Right now, a comprehensive environmental impact analysis is only conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) after an area has been designated as Wind Energy Area.
“It’s simply flawed to choose areas for offshore wind development before doing a full environmental analysis,” said CLF attorney Nick Krakoff. “It is critical to advance the development of offshore wind to respond to the climate crisis and clean up our electric grid, but it must be done responsibly. BOEM must improve its processes and consider the full environmental and socioeconomic impacts of wind development before areas in the Gulf of Maine are chosen.”
Considered to be one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, the Gulf of Maine plays a significant role in the culture of New England and is the foundation for a coastal economy characterized by commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, recreational boating, shipping, and tourism.
BOEM has set up the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to accelerate the process of leasing offshore wind areas. The first meeting in over two years will be on May 19th. The groups are asking BOEM to update their environmental review process to increase transparency and better understand the impacts of developing infrastructure in particular areas before offshore wind sites are chosen.
CLF is joined in this effort by 350NH, Acadia Center, Blue Ocean Society, Friends of Casco Bay, Island Institute, League of Conservation Voters, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Audubon, Mass. Audubon, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, NRDC, New England Aquarium, New Hampshire Audubon, Oceana, and Surfrider Foundation.
CLF experts are available for further comment.