While the development of offshore wind has obvious benefits to help fight and mitigate human-induced climate change, offshore installations also have a direct impact on the environment.
So what does that mean for organisms living in the ocean?
On the one hand, studies have shown that turbine foundations can create an artificial reef that provides feeding grounds for many fish, shellfish, and benthic species. On the other hand, one of the biggest concerns is the impact on endangered and threatened whale species, most significantly the North Atlantic right whale.
Although several species of whales are known to forage for prey primarily at water depths found beyond the BOEM lease areas, the North Atlantic right whale prefers shallower depths conducive to turbine construction.
That’s why several initiatives have begun to detect and avoid conflict with these colossal creatures to mitigate and understand any potential impact on marine life.