What Should Other Communities Know About Preparing for Offshore Wind off of Their Coasts?

This question was supplied by the ‘Ask the Experts’ database managers.

Reviewed by: Dr. David Bidwell 

Last Update: April 23rd, 2020

The Ask the Experts database managers conducted an interview with Dr. David Bidwell (Assistant Professor of Marine Affairs) to summarize the findings of a URI study that analyzes the effects of the Block Island Wind Farm on Rhode Island recreation and tourism.

Dr. Bidwell identified a lack of baseline information as a setback to the research. This is mainly due because offshore wind projects are novel creations, and data for recreation and tourism is context-specific. While some data was available, it would not have been considered an appropriate baseline.

The biggest piece of advice that Dr. Bidwell offered future researchers is to gather baseline information for tourism and recreation before the development process of the wind farm begins. The importance of collecting this baseline data is so you have something to compare to your post-development data. If baseline data fails to be retrieved, the researcher may not be able to develop a clear grasp on how tourism and recreation are being affected.

Read the study