LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

State Seeks to Zone the Ocean

Partly in response to the Cape Wind project and partly due to other proposed ocean developments (including a possible ocean energy project), the state of Massachusetts has established an offshore task force to consider ways of zoning state waters off the coast of Massachusetts as described in this piece,
All Not Calm Beneath Offshore Waves: State Eyes Zoning of Cluttered Sea Floors
Beth Daley, Boston Globe (6/15/2003).

So what are some of the activities crowding the sea floor? As the article describes

Dozens of pipes, phone lines, and electrical cables crisscross the coastal waters that stretch out 3 miles from shore. Shipwrecks and the occasional unexploded bomb litter its floor. On average, at least six new aquaculture businesses apply each year to open in state waters while one company has proposed constructing three windmill farms and another wants to generate electricity from wave power. Today, no single map can tell state officials where a century's worth of underwater hazards is located, and that sometimes leads to trouble. Three years ago, a Chelsea drawbridge was disabled for two days after workers accidentally yanked up its electrical cable, which wasn't marked correctly on their map of the sea floor.

The article also notes efforts by the Pew Commission and another federal commission arguing for a more organized national policy to manage federal waters which are located 3-200 miles out. But according to the article, given the strong history of state management of waters within the three mile offshore zone, complete nationalization of ocean policy seems unlikely.


Post a Comment

<< Home