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NOAA Issuing Biological Opinion On The Revolution Wind Offshore Energy Project

NOAA Fisheries is issuing the final Biological Opinion under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, lead federal agency). The Biological Opinion considers the effects of the construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of the proposed Revolution Wind offshore energy project off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

NOAA Fisheries has evaluated BOEM’s analysis of the effects of this project on endangered and threatened species, as well as the best scientific and commercial data available, and has concluded that while the proposed action is likely to adversely affect ESA-listed whales, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon, it is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any ESA-listed species. The action is not likely to adversely affect any designated critical habitat.

The proposed project includes a number of measures designed to minimize, monitor, and report effects to ESA-listed species, and additional measures are included through the Biological Opinion’s Incidental Take Statement. We do not anticipate any injury or mortality of any ESA-listed whale as a result of the proposed project. We also do not expect any injury to North Atlantic right whales due to exposure to increased sound levels resulting from this project. All effects to North Atlantic right whales will be limited to temporary behavioral disturbance. Additionally, no effects to the features of North Atlantic right whale critical habitat are anticipated.

BOEM is the lead federal agency for approving the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed Revolution Wind offshore energy project. NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources is also proposing to issue regulations and an associated Letter of Authorization pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was evaluated through the Biological Opinion. Other authorizations or permits will be required from a number of other federal agencies.

We will continue working closely with BOEM and other federal agencies to ensure effects from the Revolution Wind offshore energy project to NOAA Fisheries’ trust resources are minimized.

The Biological Opinion will be available online upon publication in our library in approximately 10 days.

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