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NOAA science supports New York's offshore energy planning
Date:3/20/2012

A newly released NOAA study will help New York state officials make advances in managing their coastal waters and guiding future development of offshore wind energy projects.

The study, A Biogeographic Assessment of Seabirds, Deep Sea Corals and Ocean Habitats of the New York Bight, will help the state identify favorable wind energy development sites in the Atlantic and protect critical offshore bird and fish habitats. Ultimately, siting decisions will be streamlined spurring development of wind energy industry jobs in the region.

The report is the result of a two-year collaboration between the New York Department of State's Ocean and Great Lakes Program and NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to compile and interpret existing ecological information the state needed for offshore renewable energy planning. The report will help coastal managers better understand the interactions between renewable energy development and natural resources, and reduce uncertainties for investors in renewable energy projects.

"We are pleased to have partnered with NOAA to efficiently translate incomplete existing information into a useful tool for New York's offshore planning. Our work showcases the benefits of state and federal cooperation and serves as a model for the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond," said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "We believe this work will serve as an important asset for New York's offshore planning discussions and ultimately, help us meet our state's renewable energy goals."

Key findings include understanding the biodiversity, habitats, resources, and ecological processes of seabirds, deep-sea corals, sponge habitats, as well as seafloor sediments and bathymetry, and identification of data gaps in the study area. The data helped create maps that can be used by industry, federal and state mangers and other stakeholders to make informed decisions moving forward. This will be particula
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Contact: Keeley Belva
keeley.belva@noaa.gov
301-713-3066
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

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