As offshore wind development scales rapidly to meet national and regional renewable energy goals, there is a critical need to provide agencies, developers and research institutions better awareness across the expanding landscape of priorities and projects.
To address this need, the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA), in conjunction with its advisory council, enlisted WSP USA to further one of its fundamental projects: the ROSA Fish and Fisheries Offshore Wind Research Database (Fish FORWRD). This undertaking is the first known effort to synthesize and compile previously identified research needs and on-going research projects for fish and fisheries related to offshore wind development along the U.S. east coast.
The publicly accessible tool provides a platform to search for existing projects and identify unaddressed research needs, or data gaps, as offshore wind development continues to advance. The data gap analysis is a valuable and unique analysis that provides a level of feedback to each research need that is not commonly seen in other similar existing lists or databases.
This analysis provides users another lens and criterion for prioritizing future research needs and projects. As a tool to encourage progress on crucial issues related to fish and energy development, Fish FORWRD will provide increased visibility to make sure that wind farm development is environmentally responsible and maximizes research toward the greatest needs.