May 11, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) officials have issued a record of decision approving construction plans for the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of New England. The move comes amid a flurry of early and much-needed actions from the Biden Administration to confront the climate crisis and protect biodiversity. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“Responsibly sited offshore wind has the power to transform our energy grid and combat the climate crisis,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. “Today’s news is a significant and welcome milestone for Vineyard Wind and the future of all offshore wind in the U.S. As this project and others move forward, they must keep pace with the best available science and technology to ensure that their impacts on critically endangered North Atlantic right whales as well as other vulnerable species and their habitats are appropriately avoided and minimized.”
CLF, which is a party to a 2019 agreement with Vineyard Wind on right whale protections, plans to work with regulators, industry, and other stakeholders to ensure that necessary and feasible measures to protect critically endangered right whales are put in place prior to the construction of all offshore wind energy projects. Specifically, measures that further reduce the chance of vessel strikes and the disturbance of feeding right whales must be implemented.
CLF experts are available for further comment.