North Carolina joins East Coast states’ effort to establish regional fisheries mitigation for offshore wind development

Dominion Energy Continues Development of First Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine...
Dominion Energy Continues Development of First Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel(Dominion Energy)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 2:14 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Gov. Roy Cooper has just announced that North Carolina has joined other East Coast states involved with a joint project to support fisheries mitigation in the development of sustainable and responsible deployment of offshore wind.

“It is important that we work to meet our state’s offshore wind energy goals while still protecting our marine fishery industry,” said Governor Cooper. “We are committed to collaborating with other states in this effort to make sure we achieve both goals.”

According to a press release, “North Carolina is working with Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.”

The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is focused on establishing a framework to compensate commercial and for-hire fishermen, if faced with economic impact due to offshore wind development.

“The goal is to develop a regional approach for administration of any financial compensation paid by developers. Economic impacts from coastal fishing in North Carolina top $4.5 billion annually,” according to a press release.

The states plan to create consistent, fair and transparent compensatory mitigation procedures for fisheries.

Additionally, the Initiative aims to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation.

Gov. Cooper’s press release states, “The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, which has been coordinating input into the process, has included multiple stakeholders such as the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance on behalf of the commercial fishing industry, offshore wind developers through American Clean Power, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and legal experts specializing in the development and administration of mitigation funds.”

The states involved with the project prior to the addition of North Carolina, released a final scoping document, on April 13, detailing the potential impacts of the fishing community due to offshore wind energy development.