The Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) has been engaging commercial and recreational fishing communities to get feedback on a very broad, general draft of a new Wind Lease Planning Area in virtual meetings January 5-6, 2022. The actual lease areas to be designated will have a smaller footprint than this initial planning area. Below is a map of the proposed areas:
At the final meeting, Jim Benning of BOEM stated that they are “focusing” on the wind leases first but that the lease areas and this public process is also designated for Oil, Gas, and Mineral Mining.
A concern from commercial and rec fisherman is that these locations are where the majority of the larval crab population in the Bay first develops.
There are four proposed/ongoing activities in and around the Virginia Wind Energy Area (WEA), which are listed below.
BOEM has funded or considered numerous studies to collect information about the marine environment to support decisions concerning offshore renewable energy development. For more information, please visit: http://www.boem.gov/VA-Environmental-Studies/.