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New York Department of State Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study

A Biogeographic Assessment of Seabirds, Deep Sea Corals, and Ocean Habitats of the New York Bight Report

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

NOAA Ocean Science Blog

New York Department of State Ocean and Great Lakes Program

NOAA Study Helps Identify Wind Energy Development Sites in New York

July 26, 2013
screenshot of map showing New York offshore planning area with shipping lanes and seabird abundance

The above map depicts the New York offshore planning area where shipping lanes intersect seabird abundance. NOAA's biogeographic assessment of offshore New York provides baseline habitat and bathymetry data for offshore energy planning efforts.

Recently, the state of New York released the New York Department of State Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study describing the physical, biological, wildlife, and geographic characteristics of the offshore Atlantic Ocean adjacent to New York.  This study, with significant contribution from NOAA, lays the groundwork for selecting suitable sites for offshore wind energy development.

The report will be helpful to the offshore renewable energy development interests in their siting decisions

NOAA's biogeographic assessment provides the state of New York with ecological information to support plans to balance ocean uses and environmental conservation.

New York’s offshore waters are among the busiest in the nation, supporting numerous economic activities including commercial fishing and tourism.  They are also key to ecological health, supporting species such as right whales, Atlantic sturgeon, sea turtles, and numerous sea birds. The Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study supports New York’s offshore planning process by identifying areas of the Atlantic Ocean potentially suitable for new offshore renewable energy development, while protecting offshore habitat areas that support New York's ocean industries.

The Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study draws from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s (NCCOS) report, A Biogeographic Assessment of Seabirds, Deep Sea Corals, and Ocean Habitats of the New York Bight: Science to Support Offshore spatial Planning.  The report provides a compilation of maps and biogeographic assessments for the offshore waters of New York. This NCCOS report, along with other reports cited in the study, provide a foundation for future site assessment and other relevant research activities in New York, reducing potential duplicative efforts and increasing efficiencies.

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NCCOS supports coastal states through research on the location and condition of natural resources. Through the development of tools, such as maps and assessments, NCCOS assists coastal managers in effective marine planning.  These tools have provided up-to-date actionable scientific information for managers to evaluate trade-offs among the often competing needs of fisheries, transportation, energy production, and environmental conservation.

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