Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project

Northern Gannets are a focal species for individual tracking studies in this project, along with Surf Scoters, Red-throated loons, and Peregrine Falcons. Researchers are also conducting surveys for seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other wildlife.  Photo credit: Dan Poleschook

Northern Gannets are a focal species for individual tracking studies in this project, along with Surf Scoters, Red-throated loons, and Peregrine Falcons. Researchers are also conducting surveys for seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other wildlife. Photo credit: Dan Poleschook

Project Overview

The environmentally responsible development of offshore wind energy along the Eastern Seaboard has become a priority in the United States. More than 45,000 wind turbines currently operate across the country. However, wind turbines have yet to be installed off U.S. coasts. The siting of marine wind energy development hinges, in part, on a better understanding of the extent of direct and indirect environmental impacts. In early 2012, the BRI began a three-year project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to provide essential baseline information on bird, marine mammal, and sea turtle distributions and habitat use on a regional scale in federal waters off the mid-Atlantic coast. BRI’s team of collaborators for the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project includes researchers from federal and state agencies, nonprofits, academia, and private companies.

Recognizing this opportunity, the State of Maryland is funding an extension of these survey efforts in 2013-14. Click here for more information on the Maryland Offshore Wildlife Studies.

Project Components

Mid-Atlantic Baseline Study Map

 

Map of study area (green). Map by Ian Johnson

 

 

Schematic of Project Components

 

Flow Diagram of project componenents

 

Satellite tags, such as the one shown above, provide invaluable information about the migration patterns of birds

Project Team

 

Primary Investigator:
Kate Williams
Wildlife and Renewable Energy Program Director
Biodiversity Research Institute

Co-primary investigators:
Evan Adams
(BRI Migratory Bird Program), David Evers (BRI Executive Director), Beth Gardner (North Carolina State University), Richard Veit (City University of New York), Ari Friedlaender and David Johnston (Duke University Marine Laboratory), Iain Stenhouse (BRI Marine Bird Program)

BRI Aerial Survey Video Review Team:
Emily Connelly, Melissa Duron, Jennifer Goyette, Robby Lambert

BRI Science Staff:
Andrew Gilbert
(Data Management); Wing Goodale (Deputy Director); Lucas Savoy and Dustin Meattey (Waterfowl Program); Jim Paruk, Carrie Osborne, and Mike Chickering (Loon Program); Chris DeSorbo and Rick Gray (Raptor Program)

 

Project Collaborators:

Tim Bowman (USFWS Sea Duck Joint Venture), Scott Johnston (USFWS Migratory Bird Program), Scott Kraus (New England Aquarium), William Montevecchi (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Allan O’Connell (U.S. Geological Survey), Jay Osenkowski (Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management), Sean Todd (College of the Atlantic), HiDef Aerial Surveying Ltd.