Offshore wind energy is the largest ocean-based renewable energy resource in Massachusetts. Significant progress has been made on the planning, siting, analysis, and leasing for potential offshore wind energy projects in federal waters off the Commonwealth. In federal waters, the leasing of the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable energy is the authority of the U.S Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Since 2009, Massachusetts has been working closely with BOEM, participating on an Intergovernmental Task Force comprised of federal, state, tribal, and local agency representatives and elected officials. For more information, see the BOEM Renewable Energy web page and the BOEM Massachusetts Activities web page.

To augment the Intergovernmental Task Force process and engage directly with key stakeholders, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) convened two working groups for marine habitat and fisheries issues. While the working groups are voluntary and informal, they provide a critically important forum for maintaining a dialogue with key stakeholders, getting their feedback and guidance, and identifying issues and concerns. Input from the working groups has directly resulted in accommodations to avoid important marine habitat, fishing grounds, and marine commerce routes in the designation of the wind energy lease areas. The working groups will continue to provide valuable advice as leaseholders proceed through the next phases of the BOEM wind energy commercial leasing process, including site assessments, environmental and technical reviews, and development of construction and operations plans.

Membership

The Habitat Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy is comprised of scientists and technical experts from environmental organizations, academia, and state and federal agencies.

NameOrganization
Jack ClarkeMass Audubon
Scott KrausNew England Aquarium
Stormy MayoCenter for Coastal Studies
Catherine BowesNational Wildlife Federation
Chris McGuireThe Nature Conservancy
Priscilla BrooksConservation Law Foundation
Page ValentineU.S. Geological Survey
Chris BoelkeNOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Sue TuxburyNOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Kathryn FordMassachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Erin BurkeMassachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Tom FrenchMassachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species
Bill WhiteMassachusetts Clean Energy Center
Bruce CarlisleMassachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Todd CallaghanMassachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

Meetings

Meetings of the Habitat Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy are ad hoc, generally convened quarterly or at certain benchmark points in the wind energy commercial leasing process.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Habitat Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy has not been scheduled.

Past meetings

Past meetings of the Habitat Working Group have included the following dates and agendas (if available).

May 17, 2017 - agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-05-17-17.pdf

June 28, 2016 - agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-06-28-16.pdf

March 10, 2016 – agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-03-10-16.pdf

November 2, 2015 – agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-11-02-15.pdf

April 30, 2015 – agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-04-30-15.pdf

June 23, 2014 – agenda pdf format of offshore-wind-habitat-working-group-agenda-06-23-14.pdf

November 15, 2012

September 18, 2012

February 14, 2012

September 20, 2011

May 4, 2011