Equinor Joins Whale Monitoring Effort Offshore New York

Equinor Wind US, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have launched a joint project to expand the detection and monitoring of whale species found in the waters of New York Bight.

The partners will deploy two acoustic buoys designed to provide near real-time monitoring of species such as the sei whale, fin whale, humpback whale, and the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.

The new buoys will help marine conservation scientists increase their understanding of whale species that spend time in and migrate through the waters off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. The data will help inform ecologically sound decisions for potential development within Equinor’s offshore wind lease site.

“The offshore wind industry has a logical role to play as a partner to marine biologists and others interested in better understanding and preserving the health of our oceans. This project will also help make Equinor better stewards of this lease site by providing data that informs our operational decision-making well into the future,” said Christer af Geijerstam, President, Equinor Wind US.

Equinor has submitted a bid to develop an offshore wind farm at its Empire Wind lease site located between 14 and 35 miles south of Long Island in the New York Bight. The site has a potential capacity of up to 2GW of renewable power.

The company is also developing a separate project in the lease area called Boardwalk Wind geared to New Jersey, and submitted a bid in response to that state’s offshore wind solicitation in December 2018.