The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium (NESGC) — in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries) — has invested over $1.1 million in federal funds to support six projects advancing social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the Northeast United States.
One of the projects, a nearly $200,000 study supported by the NESGC, including New York Sea Grant (NYSG), as well as DOE and NOAA Fisheries, is led by Cornell University investigator Maha Haji, who is focusing on the development of a tool that would empower stakeholders to make more informed decisions that could substantially increase economic efficiencies in the long term, thereby increasing economic resiliency.
“We are very excited to undertake this work at Cornell,” said Haji. “With the growing offshore wind energy industry in the Northeast, active and constructive engagement with local communities will be key for a resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future. The mapping tool we are developing in this project will help facilitate successful marine spatial planning efforts in the region.”
“There has been a real need for research that centers stakeholders and provides meaningful ways communities can participate in offshore renewable energy development. I’m really excited about this research and can’t wait to extend Dr. Haji’s work to our local New York communities,” said NYSG’s Gwen Gallagher, a coastal climate specialist based at Stony Brook University.
To effectively translate the results of the funded research for use by communities, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center designated $350,000 in federal funding in parallel with the research projects. As part of these efforts, Gallagher and other Northeast Sea Grant program extension staff will work directly with fishing communities and other stakeholders to provide scientific, legal and policy research support in response to fishing community needs. This research and extension will benefit a variety of ocean users and stakeholders by providing the community-focused tools required for equitable and sustainable development of the Northeast’s coastal and ocean resources.
The mission of the NESGC, which consists of the New York, Connecticut, Maine, MIT, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Woods Hole Sea Grant programs, is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. As the U.S. continues developing and deploying offshore renewable energy technologies, the Consortium and federal partners will continue to engage the public and decision makers in collaborative research that supports resilient communities and economies.
For more on the suite of research, which also supports projects in Rhode Island and Maine, see New York Sea Grant’s website.
Since 1971, New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, has been one of 34 university-based programs under NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. The extension portion of NYSG’s programming is administered through Cornell Cooperative Extension.