The variety of activities that take place in New Jersey’s coastal waters—from renewable energy production and pipelines to shipping, maritime tourism, and fishing—and how they interact with each other is a myriad of complexities. produce erosion and can affect the benefits and costs associated with the use of marine resources.
A proposal by Pankaj Lal, professor of Earth and Environmental Studies and director of the Center for Clean Energy and Sustainability Analysis, to explore some of these potential impacts, is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Offshore Wind Study. and the Monitoring Initiative (RMI) with a $440,000 grant. It supports two years of research.
The project is supported through a $26 million state-administered fund that received initial funding from two offshore wind developers as part of the Public Utilities Commission’s 2nd Annual Offshore Wind Attraction Awards.
A Study of the Impact of Offshore Wind Projects in New Jersey
Entitled “Monitoring the Socio-Economic Impact of New Jersey Offshore Wind Farm Development on the Recreational Fishing Economy,” the project will develop a tourism baseline for recreational fishing and offshore wind farm (OWF) development. The magnitude of the potential impact of OWF on recreational fisheries.
Lal is the principal investigator on the project, along with Montclair Earth and Environmental Studies collaborators Aditi Ranjan and Megann Smith. NJDEP representatives act as a support team for the project.
“We are honored to receive this funding and excited to advance New Jersey’s sustainable, clean energy economy,” said Lal. “Our work provides real-world insights that contribute to solving society’s most pressing problems and renew our commitment as a public university to conducting research that serves a public purpose. It is an exceptional example of innovative and impactful research that directly benefits the New Jersey communities it serves.”
The project will help balance New Jersey’s environmental goals to protect and responsibly manage the state’s coastal and marine resources while supporting efforts to meet the statutory obligations and priorities of the Public Utilities Commission. .
“You don’t have to choose between offshore wind power to help combat climate change or protecting recreational fisheries. It can be a win-win for both,” says Lall. “That’s what we’re trying to explore here.”
Highlights of New Jersey’s Recreational Fishing Economy
One of the goals of this project is to advance the scientific understanding of how OWF affects recreational fisheries. With the expansion of artificial reefs and no-fishing zones, OWF areas have become a significant contributor to local increases in the attraction, concentration and food supply of some fish species, with consequent impacts on fish species. may give.
The results of this study provide important insights to help monitor the impact of offshore wind on fisheries economies and subsequent impacts on local communities. This information contributes to the long-term improvement and sustainability of offshore wind development and is relevant to policy makers, scientists and land managers at local, state, regional and national levels.
The results can be used directly to monitor socioeconomic impacts on the economics of recreational fisheries, their management and control, coexistence with offshore wind farms, and scaling up to improve ecosystem benefits.
For more information on the Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center, please visit montclair.edu/clean-energy-sustainability-analytics.