[Full Webinar] Offshore Renewable Energy in the US: Learning as We Go — Session #2: Changes in Habitats and Ecosystems (1:21:29)

Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Coastal Resources Center partnered with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Working Group on Marine Benthal Renewable Energy Developments (WGMBRED) and Venture Café & District Hall Providence to offer the 17th Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium as a web series. 

The forum was formed in 2002 and renamed in 2006 to honor former National Sea Grant Director Ronald Baird and his contributions and continued service to the Sea Grant mission as an advisor to the Rhode Island and National Sea Grant offices.

The second session, “Changes in Habitats and Ecosystems” of the Baird Symposium Webinar Series discusses the change in the biological diversity and ecological interactions resulting from new offshore renewable energy structures at a local scale while considering the larger ecosystems. Watch the entire webinar below.

The Presenters:

Jan Vanaverbeke is a senior scientist at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Operational Directorate Natural Environment, Marine Ecology and Management Group, and a visiting professor at Ghent University, Belgium. His research is directed towards understanding the functional effects of the introduction of artificial hard substrates in the marine environment. Currently, he is acting as one of the chairs of the ICES Working Group on Marine Benthal Renewable Energy Developments (ICES WGMBRED).

Emma Sheehan is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Biological and Marine Sciences and Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. Dr. Sheehan currently leads a research group www.sheehanresearchgroup.com that utilizes non-destructive techniques to assess the effectiveness of spatial management for species and habitats over large spatial and temporal scales. 

Julia Livermore is a supervising biologist with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM) Division of Marine Fisheries; she serves as the point person on offshore wind for the Division. During her time at RIDEM, Julia has reviewed biological monitoring data from the Block Island Wind Farm and has conducted a spatiotemporal analysis of offshore fishing activity and location and value of landings from federal wind energy areas to characterize how regions slated for development are utilized by Southern New England fishermen, as well as the species they target. 

David Bethoney serves as the Executive Director of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, David was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, School for Marine Science & Technology where he developed a research program on the foundation of practical application and direct engagement with the fishing industry. As part of that program, he studied benthic animal communities and habitats in areas of meters to tens of thousands of kilometers, regions as different as mid-coast Maine and off the coast of Argentina, and topics as varied as sea cucumber fisheries management and the impact of offshore windfarm development.  

Moderated  by:

Jennifer McCann is the Director of U.S. Coastal Programs at the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center at the Graduate School of Oceanography and Director of Extension Programs for the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program. McCann served as URI’s lead for developing the Ocean SAMP.

Andrew Lipsky is the Fisheries & Offshore Wind Lead at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA and Narragansett, RI. He is responsible for developing NOAA’s regional fisheries and wind science capabilities. Lipsky also co-chairs the new ICES Working Group on Offshore Wind Development and Fisheries.