The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday identified an area in the Gulf of Maine that could be considered for offshore wind development.
The area covers 3.5 million acres, from about 25-120 miles off the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Virginia Olsen of the Maine Lobstering Union is pleased that regulators excluded nearly all of Lobster Management Area 1, which is important to Maine’s offshore lobster fleet.
“The regulators, BOEM, they’ve all heard from the fishermen,” Olsen said. “We’ve been pretty adamant about the fact that our Lobster Management Area 1 needs to be protected.”
The agency also excluded all North Atlantic Right Whale Restricted Areas and some important ground fish habitat. It is also striving to avoid historic and present fishing grounds of tribal nations.
Legislation passed in June sets a goal for Maine to procure three gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2040.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will take public comment on the draft wind energy area for 30 days.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.