Maine Public Law 270, which allows the establishment of the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site, requires that the following state and federal agencies be consulted concerning environmental monitoring and planning of the test site:
- Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
- Department of Marine Resources
- Department of Conservation
- Coast Guard
- Army Corps of Engineers
- NOAA Fisheries
These agencies require plans for siting, navigation, project removal, remedial action, and environmental/ecological monitoring. They also require reports and updates on site activities.
- Micrositing and geophysical investigations activities
- Bathymetric surveys
- Survey to check for presence of historically significant resources
- Site plan creation
- Navigation and safety plan creation
- Environmental/ecological monitoring activities
There will be wildlife-specific studies for:
- Benthic Invertebrates
- Marine mammals
- Birds and bats
No live animals will be collected for the environmental monitoring efforts.
As part of the environmental/ecological monitoring plan that will be part of the test site permit application, a review of the potential threats to marine life will be considered and mitigation measures will be designed. Potential areas of concern addressed in this report will include the following:
- Entanglement of marine mammals in mooring lines and structures.
- Disturbance of migration and feeding areas.
- Bird and bat strikes.
- Attraction of fish or marine mammals to the platforms.
- Interruption of wave energy direction and focus.
- Human impacts.
- Visual impacts.
- Potential disturbance of historical or culturally significant areas.
All micrositing, environmental/ecological monitoring, and permitting activities will be conducted from the start of the project in 2010 until the end of the project in 2012.