A final environmental assessment of plans to offer up to 800,000 acres in the New York Bight for offshore wind leases foresees “no significant impact” from early geophysical surveys and other preparations.

It’s a step toward the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s plan for offering up to 10 additional wind leases in the waters from Delaware Bay to Long Island.

“BOEM is focused on ensuring that any development in the New York Bight is done responsibly and in a way that avoids or minimizes impacts to the ocean and other ocean users in the region,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said in announcing the release of the document.

The assessment also considers project easements associated with each potential lease and related right-of-way grants for subsea cable corridors in the New York Bight. Still in the future would be environmental impact studies of proposed turbine construction after developers acquire leases.

“Site characterization activities would most likely include geophysical, geotechnical, and biological surveys in support of plan submittal. Site assessment activities would most likely include the temporary placement of met (meteorological) buoys and oceanographic devices,” according to the finding document, signed by Michelle Morin, chief of BOEM’s environment branch for renewable energy.

“Adverse effects to the environment from site characterization and assessment activities are expected to occur. The level of these impacts would range from negligible to minor, depending on the specific environmental resource and the mitigation measures employed.”

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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