Fisheries Mitigation Project

The Eleven East Coast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina (the States) have been advancing an initiative to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation which would provide financial compensation for economic loss from offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast.
In February 2024, NYSERDA, through a Request for Proposals, seeks a qualified entity to serve as the Regional Fund Administrator to design and develop an offshore wind energy-related comprehensive fisheries compensatory mitigation fund and associated claims processes to serve states, the fishing community, and offshore wind developers working on projects in the water along the East Coast of the United States. Proposals are due by March 20, 2024.
Recognizing the importance of sustaining a vibrant fishing community that can coexist and thrive alongside offshore wind energy development, the States have released a Request for Information (RFI) aimed at receiving input from impacted members of the fishing industry, offshore wind developers, corporate and financial management entities, as well as interested members of the public, to inform efforts to establish a regional fisheries compensatory mitigation fund administrator.
Comments to the RFI were due by February 7, 2023. The original Scoping Document – on which the RFI was based and that was originally released on December 2022 – has been updated based on the feedback received via the RFI.
A link to the Final Scoping Document can be found here.
A link to the cover letter for the Final Scoping Document can be found here.
A link to a summary of the comments received to the RFI can be found here.
A link to the full text of the comments received to the RFI can be found here.
Here is a link to the press release regarding the December 12 RFI release.
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), in collaboration with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), has been convening and facilitating discussions on a regional approach to fisheries compensatory mitigation. SIOW and CBI will continue to support this critically important effort as consultation with the fishing and offshore wind development industries continues.

11-State Goal

Support the development of a common and robust framework, methodology, criteria, and process for compensatory mitigation for fishermen that are consistent, equitable, and transparent. This approach will increase efficiency and coordination and reduce uncertainty for all sectors across offshore wind projects, states, and regions. This approach will also encourage offshore wind developers to design projects in such a way first to avoid potential impacts to fisheries, next attempt to minimize impacts, and then use mitigation as the final step in the process, with compensation for losses being utilized if other mitigation measures are exhausted.

Timeline of the Initiative

June 2021

Nine States sent a letter to the Biden Administration encouraging the federal government to provide leadership on resource impact assessments and mitigation frameworks for offshore wind development. Read the letter by clicking here.

June 2021

Nine State working group is formed and meets monthly with BOEM and NOAA to provide input on potential fisheries mitigation guidance.

November 2021

The Nine States sent a letter to BOEM to encourage the development of a standardized fisheries compensatory mitigation framework. Read the letter by clicking here.

June 2022

BOEM released Draft Fisheries Mitigation Guidance. Read the document by clicking here.

July 2022

Nine State discussed mutual interest in and committed to work together on establishing a fund administrator at in-person workshop.

September 2022

Nine States form and hold first meetings for the Governance Work Group and the Technical Working Group.

December 2022

Nine States release Request for Information (RFI) for public comment. Read the RFI by clicking here.

April 2023

April 2023 Nine States Release Final Scoping Document. Final Scoping Document.

May 2023

Delaware and North Carolina join the effort, bringing the total number of states to eleven.

Feb 2024

NYSERDA, through a Request For Proposals, seeks a qualified entity to serve as the Regional Fund Administrator.