A senior Biden administration scientist authored an internal memo warning of the impacts offshore wind development may have on marine life months before the recent spate of whale deaths along the East Coast.
Sean Hayes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) chief of protected species, penned the memo in May 2022 and sent it to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lead biologist Brian Hooker, also copying more than a dozen other scientists from the two agencies. The memo highlighted Hayes’ concerns about how offshore wind construction and surveying could disrupt the endangered Atlantic right whale.
“The development of offshore wind poses risks to these species, which is magnified in southern New England waters due to species abundance and distribution,” Hayes wrote in the letter dated May 13. “These risks occur at varying stages, including construction and development, and include increased noise, vessel traffic, habitat modifications, water withdrawals associated with certain substations.”
“The focus of this memo is …