Incidental Take Authorization: Vineyard Wind LLC Marine Site Characterization Surveys off of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York

Summary

NOAA Fisheries has received a request from Vineyard Wind, LLC (Vineyard Wind) for the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized take of 14 species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to incidental to marine site characterization survey activities off the coast of Massachusetts in the areas of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A 0501 and OCS-A 0522) and along potential submarine cable routes to a landfall location in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. Due to delays, Vineyard Wind has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of June 21, 2020 through June 20, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are not changed, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as included in the initial IHA. NMFS is, therefore, issuing a second identical IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA.

Potential HRG survey area.PNG

Potential high resolution geophysical (HRG) survey area. HRG surveys are proposed to take place within the boundaries shown. The area denoted in pink on the map illustrates an area where HRG survey activities will be restricted to periods of lower North Atlantic right whale (NARW) presence, i.e., August and September (Nichols et al. 2008).

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on 07/13/2020