Help Ensure New Coastal Wind Energy Projects Avoid Wildlife Conflicts

The need to address our climate crisis has made shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy a national priority. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the agency charged with leasing ocean areas for energy development, has recently proposed two areas off Oregon’s coast for floating offshore wind turbines. These two areas (the Coos and Brookings Call Areas) total 1,800 square miles – an area slightly smaller than the state of Delaware. The technology for floating offshore wind is brand new and has not been used in North America yet.

The West Coast’s renowned California Current marine ecosystem, with its rich upwelling waters, is a crucially important natural resource with significant cultural, ecological, and economic values that must be carefully considered through all phases of industrial energy development.

A photo of a gull flying over the ocean in front of a line of wind turbines.
Photo by Niel/Flickr

Take Action

Please urge BOEM to minimize impacts to ocean and coastal wildlife and habitats and to responsibly site offshore wind development.

Public comments are due by 11:59pm on June 28, 2022. 

Submit Comment

Black-footed Albatross, photo by Scott Carpenter

Talking Points

  • Conduct a West Coast-wide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) before identifying Wind Energy Areas to avoid piecemeal permitting and to make sure that siting is informed by a cumulative-impacts analysis coastwide. Seabirds, whales and fish range widely across multiple areas now under consideration for wind development. A PEIS will provide a transparent consideration of larger, ecosystem wide issues and it can be done in a way that does not delay the process and could lead to better outcomes.
  • Birds and wildlife from all around the Pacific come to forage in Oregon’s rich upwelling waters. Ensure full consideration for birds and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, as Wind Energy Areas are refined.
  • Develop a comprehensive coastwide framework for adaptive management, including robust monitoring and a way to bring new scientific information on board to fill data gaps.
  • Develop a meaningful compensatory mitigation program to fully compensate for environmental harm to wildlife caused by the construction and ongoing maintenance of offshore wind facilities, including cable landing and port/terminal sites.
  • Remove the northern portion of the Coos Bay Call Area from development consideration. This area includes the southern portion of Heceta Bank which is one of the most important wildlife hotspots in the entire California Current Ecosystem supporting important seabird and marine mammal foraging habitat. It also has significant economic importance as a fishing ground for commercial fishers. 
  • Remove 15km strip of the eastern portion of both the Coos Bay and Brookings Call Areas from development consideration to protect seabird foraging grounds and whale migration corridors.

You can also thank BOEM for excluding some areas of high ecological value in a previous decision.

Additional Resources