Wildlife & Renewable Energy Program

Since 2009, BRI wildlife biologist Kate Williams and colleagues have studied the migration and movement patterns of birds and bats over the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere on the Atlantic coast. BRI biologists have documented that migratory owls fly over open water, taking advantage of islands as stopover sites, and that migratory falcons will fly hundreds of miles out over the Atlantic on their way south to the Caribbean and South America.

This information begs a host of questions about how migrating birds and bats might be affected by offshore structures, such as wind turbines. Careful siting of renewable energy development seems to play a key role in minimizing impacts to wildlife, but this requires detailed knowledge of where animals breed, winter, and migrate. To address this need, BRI has established a wildlife and renewable energy program, and is involved in several areas of wind power research and marine spatial planning in the eastern United States.

Kate Williams weighing a bird

“There are key information gaps for understanding potential impacts of marine wind power development.”
Kate Williams, Program Director

Program Director

Kate Williams
207.839.7600 ext. 108

Contributing Program Directors:
Chris DeSorbo, Dave Yates, Evan Adams, Iain Stenhouse, Andrew Gilbert, Patrick Keenan, Jim Paruk, Lucas Savoy
Contributing BRI Staff:
Wing Goodale, Kevin Regan, Marie Perkins, Tim Divoll

Program Goals

Current BRI Projects

Geographic Focus

Eastern United States and the Great Lakes region, with a focus on the Gulf of Maine

Recent Publications and Technical Reports