Wednesday, April 28, 2010

US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm

The first US offshore wind farm project won government approval Wednesday.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave the green light for the giant Cape Wind project in the channel between Cape Cod and the resort islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts.

"In the wake of the offshore oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it is more clear than ever that we need to move quickly to develop safe, responsible clean energy projects like Cape Wind instead of more offshore drilling," said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010



In the search for "cleaner and greener" energy; ocean waves, tides, currents and wind may offer important benefits as renewable sources of energy that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These alternative energy sources may also provide economic development through a cutting-edge industry for coastal communities. At the same time, there are many questions and concerns about ocean energy, including potential impacts to ocean recreation, nearshore ecology, coastal processes, public safety, aesthetics, and fishing access.

Please join SB Surfrider for an interesting and informative presentation on ocean wave energy. Patricia Wilmore of Pacific Gas & Electric will make a presentation on their proposal to test ocean wave energy devices off northern Santa Barbara County's coast. Hope to see you there!

When: Thursday, April 15, 7:00 pm
Where: Watershed Resource Center, Arroyo Burro Beach, 2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara
Who: SB Surfrider
What: Patricia Wilmore of PG&E will speak on PG&E's WaveConnect Project, a proposal to harvest ocean wave energy for electricity off the northern Santa Barbara County coast near Vandenberg AFB.

For more information on ocean wave energy:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oregon's Big Buoy

A wave energy project off Reedsport, Oregon is slated to be the first such commercial scale project in the U.S. Surfrider Foundation has been participating as a formal stakeholder in the settlement process on behalf of recreation and conservation interests.

Two and a half years after a wave energy test buoy sank off Newport, the drive to harness energy from the ocean is heating up again with plans for at least one buoy to be deployed off Oregon's central coast before the year's end.

And there are hopes for a handful more not long after.

It's all part of Oregon's race to become a leader in wave energy technology, a competition that only three years ago threatened to deteriorate into a bitter battle pitting east coast developers against fishermen, surfers and others.

Many of them feared the buoys could harm fishing, recreation and tourism. But today, some say the situation exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and cooperation.

"Oregon has a lot to be proud of and a lot of people have shown a lot of leadership," Onno Husing, executive director of Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association. "We are literally helping to figure this out for the nation."

If that happens -- if Oregon wins the wave energy race and does it well -- proponents say it could someday mean $1 billion plus annually to the state,

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Offshore Wind, Marine Spatial Planning and Aquaculture

Offshore alternative energy projects (wind, waves, tide) are just one type of potential use of finite marine resource areas off our coasts. These projects potentially conflict with a long list of historical and potential future uses, including fishing, shipping, oil and gas production, recreation, and aquaculture. Recognition of these sometimes competing uses has given rise to Marine Spatial Planning, which is aimed at conducting a logical planning process, involving multiple stakeholders to avoid having our seas become the next "wild west."

In an effort to explore some of these issues, a symposium The Ecology of Marine Wind Farms: Perspectives on Impact Mitigation, Siting, and Future Uses was held in November 2009 in Maine. Abstracts and presentations from the symposium can be downloaded from the website.