Over $1.1 Million in Northeast Offshore Renewable Energy Studies Includes NYSG-Funded Project |

Cornell University researcher Maha Haji (center) and members of her SEA lab group have launched one of six projects funded by Sea Grant, DOE and NOAA Fisheries examining the coexistence of offshore energy with the fishing and coastal communities of the Northeast. Credit: Maha Haji.

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium (NESGC) — in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center — has invested more than $1.1 million dollars in federal funds to support six projects advancing social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the northeastern United States.

One of the projects, a nearly $200,000 study funded by the New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and led by Cornell University researcher Maha Haji, focuses on developing a tool that would allow parties stakeholders to make more informed decisions that can significantly increase economic efficiency. in the long term, thereby increasing economic resilience.

“We are very excited to take on this work at Cornell,” Haji said. “With the growth of the offshore wind energy industry in the North East, active and constructive engagement with local communities will be key to 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 for communities to participate in offshore renewable energy development. I’m really excited about this research and look forward to extending Dr. Haji’s work to our local New York communities,” said NYSG’s Gwen Gallagher, a coastal climate scientist based at Stony Brook University.

To effectively translate the results of funded research for community use, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center has allocated $350,000 in federal funding alongside 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 the needs of fishing communities. This research and outreach will benefit a variety of ocean users and stakeholders by providing the community-driven tools needed for the equitable and sustainable development of Northeast coastal and ocean resources.

The mission of the NESGC, which includes 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 so to create a sustainable economy and environment. As the United States continues to develop and deploy offshore renewable energy technologies, the Consortium and federal partners will continue to engage the public and policy makers in collaborative research that supports resilient communities and economies.

To learn more about the research series, which also supports projects in Rhode Island and Maine, visit the New York Sea Grant 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 college programs in NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. The extension portion of NYSG programming is administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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