Stories From The Field

Supporting Wave Energy Permitting in California

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Issue

The State of California and federal agencies receive many permits for proposed wave energy projects off the coast of California. To respond to these applications, the agencies must identify possible species and habitats that could be affected by the proposed project areas. This requires visualization tools for mapping species and habitat areas.

Process

The NOAA Office for Coastal Management worked with the California Coastal Conservancy and the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) on a series of maps of proposed wave energy projects submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The maps were generated using data from the MarineCadastre.gov, including authoritative jurisdictional boundary data, boundaries for the proposed California wave energy projects, shipping lanes, weather observation buoys, and marine protected areas.

Impact

Resource managers and stakeholders used the maps to evaluate potential impacts to species and habitat from the proposed wave energy developments, including the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s WaveConnect project. The marine cadastre was also used to provide an overview of all the permit applications and to help determine research priorities and gaps.

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Proposed Wave Energy Projects off of Humboldt Bay, California
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