What is the Purpose of the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA)?

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Reviewed by: Dr. Lyndie Hice-Dunton

Last Update: September 16th, 2020

At the Global Ocean Summit Series: Session 4, Dr. Lyndie Hice-Dunton (Executive Director) introduced the newly formed Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA).

This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, formed in 2019, exists as a collaboration between fisheries and offshore wind development. A highly unique partnership, comprised of two groups that are often on opposing sides, representatives from each industry have agreed to come together to address the need for regional coordinated science.

Hice-Dunton, a marine scientist, assumed the role of Executive Director of ROSA in February of 2020. She explains that, as offshore development begins to take off, there is a recognized need for coordinated regional science. Without such, many issues and questions are addressed at either a state or project level; and, many times, adjacent states are found asking similar questions about offshore wind.

The development of offshore renewable energy is occurring on a large marine ecosystem (LME) scale primarily on the East Coast. Some issues and questions arise on the state and project level; but, as the industry continues to move forward, planning must be conducted on a LME scale. This calls for coordination on a regional level to effectively assess the cumulative impacts that this development will have on the marine ecosystem.

Within existing organizations and agencies, there is a limited capacity to address these issues and questions. Many agencies have only one or two employees who are focused on offshore wind in terms of fisheries. This is where ROSA comes into play. The nonprofit is dedicated to promoting collaboration between offshore development and fisheries by focusing on regional research, communication and improvement of data sharing.

ROSA Objectives 

  1. Identify regional research and monitoring needs
  2. Coordinate existing research and monitoring
  3. Advance understanding through collaboration, partnerships and cooperative research
  4. Improve access to scientific data
  5. Disseminate research and communicate findings

Consisting of a Board of Directors equally comprised of offshore wind developers and fishing industry members, ROSA is hitting the ground running to establish themselves and develop long-term solutions. An evolving Advisory Council, comprised of about 40 representatives of commercial & recreational fishermen, offshore wind developers, federal agencies— National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) & Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), US fisheries councils and the regional states from Maine to North Carolina, will provide overall strategic guidance and goal setting. The Research Advisory Board of scientists and academics will provide scientific review and advise the alliance on scientific questions. 

Through this organizational structure, ROSA aims to bring experts within the region together to advance the research and monitoring focused on fisheries and offshore wind with an underlying effort to key in on collaboration and cooperation.