Karen Baker, chief of the BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs, welcomes attendees to the Gulf of Maine Information Exchange meeting in Portsmouth, NH, on January 18, 2023. One of the live Northeast Ocean Data Portal displays used in the meeting is visible to her right.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in January began a series of in-person and virtual public meetings to receive feedback during the agency’s planning process for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Maine. BOEM designed the meetings to create opportunities for exchanging information about the draft 9.9-million-acre Gulf of Maine Call Area and the Wind Energy Area model being developed with NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

In collaboration with BOEM, several members of the Northeast Ocean Data Portal team attended the in-person meetings in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to help provide information about datasets and maps used in offshore wind planning.

During the events, several large screens stationed around the venues displayed interactive Northeast Ocean Data Portal maps of fishing, marine life, and marine transportation data, along with boundaries of the draft Call Area. As meeting participants circulated among the stations, Portal team members answered their questions and provided background information about the data. They were able to use the live Portal displays to show specific datasets of interest.

Plenary session at the Gulf of Maine Information Exchange meeting in Portland, Maine, on January 19, 2023. Following the plenary, attendees moved among live Portal displays to learn about and provide feedback on data and maps used in offshore wind planning.

The final virtual meeting of this series will occur on February 28, and then BOEM’s offshore wind planning process for the Gulf of Maine will move forward to the next step. The Northeast Ocean Data Portal will continue to coordinate with BOEM to provide data and maps to support decision-making.

Screenshot of Data Explorer map

Screenshot of the “Gulf of Maine Draft Call Area – January 2023” map layer on Data Explorer interactive map.