HYANNIS – The New England Aquarium recently announced that it is partnering with Cornell University and wind energy consultant LAUTEC US on a project to better assess the relationship between offshore wind developments and the habitats of critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales.
Although the full impact of wind development on whales is unknown, pile driving activities associated with offshore wind projects could potentially force whales from their habitat and disrupt important behaviors such as feeding and socializing.
The Right Wind project would utilize the expertise of the three organizations to model right whale habitat, calculate risks posed to right whales by wind development, and assess financial risks associated with such projects.
“We’re excited to be starting this project because it gives us an opportunity to develop tools that can help reduce the potential risks of wind energy development to North Atlantic Right Whales, a critically endangered species that numbers less than 350 individuals,” said Dr. Laura Ganley, associate research scientist at the New England Aquarium.
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