Significant opportunities exist in the Pacific Northwest to develop the capacity for wave- generated energy as a clean, renewable resource. With advancing technology and interest in wave energy, it is also important to understand the potential effects of wave energy technology on the ecological and physical components of coastal ecosystems. ECORP is well qualified and experienced in assisting clients with environmental issues associated with wave energy development as well as with the permitting process, and has in depth experience in the following areas:

  • Physical Environment – potential for wave reduction resulting from wave energy production, with possible beach effects (e.g., changes to sediment transport processes).
  • Pelagic Habitat – potential for effects on fisheries through aggregation of forage species and predatory species.
  • Benthic Habitat – potential for modifications to water circulation and currents may affect larval distribution and sediment transport may change both in the benthos and on beaches.
  • Fish and Fisheries – potential for changes in species composition and predator effects. New structures may affect migration corridors, potentially mediated through behavioral effects resulting from EMF, chemical, and acoustic signals.
  • Marine Birds - lighting and above-water structures may result in collisions and attraction to buoys.
  • Marine Mammals – potential for entanglement from mooring cables (slack v. taut; horizontal v. vertical; diameter).

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