The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) will hold a public open house to learn about the state's ocean mapping and planning efforts, with a focus on offshore renewable energy.
The open house will be held April 12 near Ocean City at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Coastal Ecology Teaching and Research Center in Berlin, Md.
The event is designed to allow residents to ask questions and provide feedback. Experts from both agencies and project partners will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about ocean mapping and planning, offshore wind, project timelines, anticipated processes and opportunities for community response.
‘Offshore wind has the potential to supply more renewable energy than any other resource in the region,’ says Malcolm Woolf, director of the MEA. ‘Maryland is committed to successfully harnessing these resources in a cost-effective way in order to provide the state with every opportunity to be able to satisfy its renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2022 and benefit from the growing renewable energy credit market.’
Maryland's ocean mapping and planning efforts can help identify areas for future offshore activities, reduce conflicts, facilitate compatible uses and reduce environmental impacts to sensitive natural resources.
DNR and MEA are hoping to apply this information to help identify areas that may be suitable for offshore wind energy projects. The agencies have compiled information with the help of several project partners, including the Nature Conservancy and the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Environmental Research, and they expect to collect more data and information from a broad range of stakeholders, especially through public meetings.