Atlantic Coast States Release RFI Tied to Regional Fisheries, Offshore Wind Development

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia have been advancing an initiative to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation that would provide financial compensation for economic loss from offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast, reports the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Recognizing the importance of sustaining a vibrant fishing community that can coexist and thrive alongside offshore wind energy development, the states have released a request for information (RFI) aimed at receiving input from impacted members of the fishing industry, offshore wind developers, corporate and financial management entities, as well as interested members of the public, to inform efforts to establish a regional fisheries compensatory mitigation fund administrator.

This effort supports the implementation of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Draft Fisheries Mitigation Framework  in a fair, equitable and transparent manner for impacted Atlantic Coast fishing industry members and offshore wind developers. The states’ RFI seeks feedback on concepts and proposals on how to best establish a single regional administrator for the Atlantic Coast to collect, hold, determine eligibility and dispense funds for economic losses to affected fishing industry members.

The states are focused on ensuring that a regional administrator also engages appropriately with both the fishing and offshore wind industries. To that end, the states developed the RFI and accompanying scoping document with input from representatives of the fishing and offshore wind industries, including support from the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) and other fishing industry leaders, to help engage with and understand concerns from the broader industry.

Responses to the RFI are due by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 31, 2023. Read the scoping document and RFI here.

The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) have been convening and facilitating the states’ discussions on a regional approach to fisheries compensatory mitigation. SIOW and CBI will continue to support this critically important effort as consultation with the fishing and offshore wind development industries continues.

Image: Theodor Vasile on Unsplash

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