[Full Webinar] Offshore Renewable Energy in the US: Learning as We Go — Session #3: Learning from the BIWF: Sediment and Sound (1:18:26)

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.

In the third session, “Learning from the BIWF: Sediment and Sound” researchers present findings about acoustical and benthic habitat data from the area of the Block Island Wind Farm. Watch the entire webinar below.


Jennifer Amaral earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in ocean engineering from the University of Rhode Island and is currently studying towards her Ph.D. in the same discipline. Her doctoral research involves the study of impact pile driving sounds during the installation of offshore wind turbines. She is a lead scientist and engineer with Marine Acoustics, Inc. in Middletown, Rhode Island, where she implements modeling strategies and develops acoustic assessment tools to evaluate underwater sound propagation.

Monique LaFrance Bartley is a marine ecologist with the National Park Service in the Ocean and Coastal Resources Branch. She earned a B.S. at the University of Rhode Island, majoring in marine biology and minoring in marine affairs and underwater archaeology. She continued her studies at the Graduate School of Oceanography at URI, earning her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in oceanography. Dr. LaFrance Bartley’s primary research focus is benthic habitat mapping to establish baseline conditions and monitoring to assess change over time, with the purpose of providing results that support real-world management applications.

Discussion Participants:

James Boyd is a coastal policy analyst for the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and has been with the agency for 20 years. He is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of the CRMC’s coastal policies and regulations, and he manages and develops the CRMC’s federal consistency decisions for offshore renewable energy projects. Prior to working for the CRMC, he was a commercial fisherman for a decade.

Dave Monti is a charter captain, fishing writer and fish advocate.  He is vice-chair of the RI Marine Fisheries Council, 2nd vice president of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, a board member of the American Saltwater Guides Association and a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association. He is the Providence Journal’s fishing writer and writes for 12 other fishing related blogs, magazines, and newspapers often writing about climate change and its impact on fish, offshore wind farms, and fish policy at the state and national level.

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.

Zoë Hutchison is a postdoctoral research fellow at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. She earned her B.Sc. in Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth in 2008, and her M.Sc. in Aquatic Resource Management at King’s College London in 2010. She completed her Ph.D. in Marine Science in 2015, at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Hutchison’s work is primarily centered around the effects of EMF and benthic effects at the Block Island Wind Farm.