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TNC Supports State of Maine’s Pursuit of Offshore Wind Research Array

Calls for open and transparent process, more science on potential impacts

Deep blue ocean as seen from below the surface
Deep Blue The ocean surface as seen from below. © Tim Calver

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Maine has worked for decades with Maine’s communities and natural resource users to conserve forests, reconnect rivers to the sea, and rebuild depleted fish populations in the Gulf of Maine. Climate change is now affecting these ecosystems and communities in significant ways, including wildlife species and resource users in the Gulf of Maine, where waters are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans. TNC is committed to addressing this crisis by helping Maine reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and adapt to our changing environment.

Responsible deployment of clean energy to rapidly reduce greenhouse emissions is necessary to slow and mitigate climate change. TNC shares the Mills Administration’s commitment to achieving the ambitious and science-based emissions reduction levels and renewable energy targets established in Maine law. We believe that well-sited offshore wind will be an important component of a diversified renewable energy portfolio to help Maine and the region achieve our climate goals.

Because floating offshore wind is relatively new technology in the U.S., TNC supports the State of Maine’s pursuit of a research array to better understand the impacts and benefits of this technology. The research array should be used to study potential impacts on the habitats, fish, and wildlife in the Gulf of Maine and determine how floating offshore wind can co-exist with marine resource users.

The siting process for the research array and its transmission cables is critically important. TNC supports a siting process that is conducted through an inclusive stakeholder process that seeks to minimize impacts on sensitive marine habitats and conflicts with marine resource users. We look forward to working with all interested parties to identify how to responsibly site the research array and ensure it is well-designed to best inform future offshore wind development.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.