ATLANTIC CITY – New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm undertaking, Ocean Wind 1, has introduced an expanded partnership with Stockton College that helps the undertaking’s monitoring and mitigation efforts associated to the North Atlantic proper whale and different marine wildlife.
Developed by Ørsted and PSEG, Ocean Wind 1 will probably be positioned off the coast of southern New Jersey. At 1,100 megawatts, Ocean Wind 1 will present clear power to 500,000 properties in New Jersey, assist hundreds of jobs and advance provide chain initiatives whereas serving to the state meet its clear power targets.
Via the partnership, Ocean Wind 1 will assist a primary of its type program at an accredited college and allow Stockton College to coach people to be Protected Species Observers. PSOs are licensed professionals authorized by Bureau of Ocean Power Administration and the Nationwide Marine Fisheries Service who monitor for protected species, or for these animals which are federally protected underneath the Endangered Species Act and/or Marine Mammal Safety Act. PSOs are utilized by all kinds of industries to assist them meet their regulatory compliance wants.
“This collaboration with Ørsted and Ocean Wind will support important research at Stockton and prepare Stockton students to participate in the new clean energy economy while using their education and talents to protect the marine environment and the most vulnerable of its species,” mentioned Peter F. Straub, dean of the College of Pure Sciences and Arithmetic.
As soon as licensed, PSOs will probably be utilized by Ocean Wind 1 and different regional offshore wind farms throughout website investigations, development, and operational actions to watch, report and share sightings of North Atlantic proper whales and different protected marine life as required by federal permits.
Along with the PSO program, Ocean Wind 1 may even present funding that may allow Stockton College to check the habitat utilization of harbor seals in southern New Jersey. Harbor seals, which could be discovered on the East Coast from the Canadian Arctic to the Mid-Atlantic, are vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation. This multi-year undertaking will allow researchers at Stockton to remotely monitor harbor seal inhabitants patterns and meals habits by means of 2024 and helps bigger collaborative initiatives underway regionally with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, which is funded by Ørsted and Eversource’s Dawn Wind undertaking, the U.S. Navy, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Heart.
“We are proud to support these innovative programs at Stockton University,” Ørsted Marine Mammal Specialist Laura Morse mentioned. “Not only will they result in valuable data on the marine mammals and wildlife in and around our Ocean Wind 1 lease area, but they will also help to further protect and conserve the North Atlantic right whale, harbor seals and other protected species along the coast of New Jersey with whom we coexist.”
This isn’t the primary time Stockton College and Ørsted have come collectively. In 2019, Ørsted and Stockton signed a memorandum of understanding that allowed the corporate to assist analysis and educational packages associated to various power, local weather change and resiliency, and in flip, obtain educational research and analysis to help with the event, development, operation and upkeep of Ocean Wind 1.
Stockton College gives diploma packages in environmental science, coastal zone administration, geology, marine science, sustainability and organic sciences that embody research in marine biology and oceanography by means of discipline and laboratory programs, seminars, impartial research, internships and analysis alternatives. The college additionally has a devoted marine discipline station that helps educational research and analysis of New Jersey coastal areas.
Adjunct Professor Jacalyn Toth Sullivan, a famous marine mammal specialist with Stockton, is main the event of the PSO program in addition to the harbor seal research with the assist of Steve Evert, director of the Stockton Marine Area Station and its crew.
“Both of these initiatives fill important needs as New Jersey moves forward with offshore wind energy development. Efforts to understand the population dynamics of these harbor seals, along with the establishment of a local Protected Species Observer Course is a step in the right direction for the conservation of New Jersey’s marine mammals,” Sullivan mentioned.
Details about the free Protected Species Observor coaching and certification is on-line at Stockton.edu/pso. The applying deadline is July 15 for programs starting within the fall on the Stockton Marine Area Station.