Marine planning

This is a resource page that summarizes and updates readers about what’s happening in offshore wind, aquaculture, and other marine planning activities and issues off the U.S. West Coast.

BOEM = Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
NOAA = National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Upcoming events

The preliminary America the Beautiful report is now available.  More information is HERE. America the Beautiful listening sessions are scheduled for Jan 13, 19, and 21. You do not have to pre-register to listen, but you DO need to pre-register if you wish to make comments. Written comments are due March 7, per the Federal Register notice

The Humboldt Bay Wind Energy Area EA has been released, with a 30-day comment period.  BOEM will host two virtual public meetings to allow the public to learn more about the Draft EA, ask questions, and provide oral testimony, at the following dates and times:  January 25th, 2022 @ 9:00 AM Pacific Time and January 26th, 2022 @ 5PM.  You can register and find more information HERE.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan review; Online Public Comment Meetings:

Written Comments via Use docket number NOAA-NOS-2019-0110.

Oregon Dept of Energy to Hold Virtual Kick-off Meeting January 20 for Floating Offshore Wind Study
Join the Oregon Department of Energy on January 20 to kick-off its Floating Offshore Wind Study. Passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2021, HB 3375 directs the Department to develop a legislative report that summarizes its key findings relating to the benefits and challenges of integrating up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of floating offshore wind into Oregon’s electric grid by 2030, including opportunities for future study and engagement.

A NOAA Aquaculture Opportunity Area and Aquaculture Atlas update is being held from 10:00-11:00am Pacific Time on January 18, 2021.

Council activities

  • The Pacific Council sent two quick response letters on the Morro Bay WEA and the BOEM Fisheries Mitigation Guidance January 7 and 11, 2022.  Those letters can be found on our Correspondence page.
  • The Marine Planning Committee will convene Tuesday, February 1, 2022 to consider current issues and develop a report for the March 2022 Council meeting.
  • The Council held a marine planning and offshore development meeting online on July 22-23.
  • June Council meeting: the Council decided to create a Marine Planning advisory body. Details forthcoming in newsletter (7/20).
  • April Council meeting: Offshore wind issues were discussed under agenda item H2 (Update on Executive Order 13921), and during the Legislative Committee meeting. The Council approved two letters on Executive Order 14008 under Legislative Matters.
  • March Council meeting: Offshore wind and aquaculture were discussed during the Marine Planning Update (3/21).
  • The Council Coordinating Committee sent a letter to Department of Interior on Executive Order 14008 (Tackling Climate Change at Home and Abroad). Although EO 14008 does promote offshore wind, the letter focuses on the EO’s directive to conserve 30% of U.S. land and waters by 2030. (3/12)
  • Process: The Council will be coordinating with BOEM before each meeting to learn about offshore wind and other offshore energy activities. Any announcements will be put in the next Council’s briefing book and covered in the Executive Director’s report at the beginning of each Council meeting. If needed, the Council will hold a webinar to allow advisory body discussions. (3/11/21)
  • Habitat Committee meeting Feb. 24. NOAA presented information related to the identification of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, and BOEM discussed the process of identifying potential offshore wind energy sites. A recording of this meeting is available at the link.

Recent news

State legislation

  • Oregon HB 3375 was signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown on June 23. The bill establishes goal of planning for development of three gigawatts of commercial scale floating offshore wind energy projects within federal waters off Oregon Coast by 2030. (6/28)
  • California AB 525. Requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy developments installed off the California coast in federal waters by December 31, 2022.  In preparation of the plan, the CEC, working with other agencies and stakeholders, must evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve certain state goals; identify suitable sea space for wind energy areas in federal waters; develop a plan to improve waterfront facilities to support floating offshore wind energy development activities; and assess the transmission investments and upgrades necessary to support offshore wind planning goals. Moving through Senate committees (8/25).
  • California SB 413. This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Offshore Wind Project Certification, Fisheries, Community, and Indigenous Peoples Advisory Committee, which the bill would create, to establish a process for the certification of offshore wind generation facilities that is analogous to the existing requirements for certification of thermal powerplants, but applicable to offshore wind generation facilities, and would make the Energy Commission the exclusive authority for the certification of offshore wind generation facilities. This bill does not seem to be moving.

Federal legislation and information

Useful links

Is there something else we need to add? Email us.