The Center for Coastal Studies recently completed two reports as part of a larger study it is involved in – Environmental Effects of Sediment Transport Alteration and Impacts on Protected Species: Edgartown Tidal Energy Project. Other collaborators include scientists from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Battelle Ocean Sciences.
The Town of Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, is evaluating the feasibility of using tidal power to generate electricity. The Town engaged Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) to manage the project and they were successful in obtaining U.S. Department of Energy funding for this study. The Town has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a draft pilot license to operate a pilot tidal energy project in Muskeget Channel that would generate no more than 5 megawatts of power.
The Center’s reports are: Marine Megavertebrates and Fishery Resources in the Nantucket Sound- Muskeget Channel Area:
Ecology and Effects of Renewable Energy Installations and Monitoring Methodologies Assessing Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy Installations on Marine Megavertebrates- Recommendations for the Proposed Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project
The first report evaluates:
Documented occurrence and habitats of marine megavertebrates – cetaceans, pinnipeds, turtles, basking sharks and sunfish in the area
Documented occurrence of fishery resources and habitats and commercial and recreational fishing activity in the area
Studies and assessments on the environmental impacts of marine energy conversion projects on marine megavertebrates
The second report reviews:
Scientific methods for assessing impacts of marine renewable energy installations on megavertebrates and recommends a monitoring plan specific to the proposed Muskeget Channel tidal energy project.