INSPIRE Scientists publish study of Effects of Offshore Wind Construction on Glacial Moraine Habitats
As several of New England’s offshore wind energy projects move forward, INSPIRE scientists continue to make waves in the field of wind farm impact assessment with the publication of a new paper in Estuaries and Coasts. Authors Marisa Guarinello and Dr. Drew Carey present a multi-modal approach to assess the effects of construction within glacial moraine habitats. Glacial moraines are common on the seafloor off Rhode Island and Massachusetts and they form valuable structurally complex habitat for several key species.
INSPIRE conducted pre- and post-construction surveys at the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) to observe effects on the moraine habitats. The seafloor was mapped with a multibeam echosounder to guide visual observation with towed video and a high resolution drop camera, which gave Guarinello and Carey multiple windows to observe these habitats at different scales. This methodology was successfully used to produce detailed baseline data, detect disturbance features, and present meaningful results to state and federal agencies.
The paper, “Multi-modal Approach for Benthic Impact Assessments in Moraine Habitats: a Case Study at the Block Island Wind Farm” is available online under Open Access.