The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is taking comment on whether a survey of tourists visiting or potentially visiting waterfront communities affected by offshore wind power development is a good idea.
“While we have seen significant interest in offshore wind power development in recent years, the absence of baseline data for specific areas along the Atlantic coast and the absence of a broader regional study on tourism and wind power have made it difficult to identify and analyze the potential impacts of offshore wind development on coastal tourism and recreation,” said the bureau in a July 1 Federal Register notice. “Additional information on these potential impacts will contribute to better planning and decision-making for BOEM and other stakeholders, including other Federal agencies and State and local governments.”
Under a cooperative agreement awarded by the Interior Dept., the University of Delaware will conduct a survey to assess the impact of offshore wind power projects on coastal recreation and tourism from Massachusetts to South Carolina. The survey will gauge public perceptions of offshore wind energy projects and how development could impact future recreation and visitation choices.
BOEM said it will use this information, along with other economic and environmental information, in its offshore wind decision-making process and marine spatial planning efforts. States and coastal communities will use the information for local coastal planning efforts.
The bureau is taking 60 days of comments from July 1 on:
- Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
- The accuracy of its estimate of the burden for this collection of information;
- Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
- Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.