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Supporting the permitting strategy for Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF)

INSPIRE Environmental is a leading environmental services firm supporting offshore wind development since 2009. Our experience and capabilities provide key information on marine resources for decision-making support from the inception of projects through project lifespan.

INSPIRE’s innovative approach of sediment profile imaging allows us to conduct rapid site assessments for geophysical ground-truth and benthic habitats along cable routes and within offshore wind farms. This cost-effective and data-intense approach is accepted by both BOEM and the EU. We can mobilize our equipment anywhere in the world and deliver results the same day using cutting-edge technology developed and deployed by INSPIRE staff for over 30 years.

INSPIRE scientists supported the permitting strategy for Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), leading with innovative approaches for benthic assessment and fisheries monitoring. INSPIRE’s Sediment Profile and Plan View (SPI/PV) imaging were used to assess the benthic habitat and to ground-truth the geological and geophysical survey results at the proposed wind farm; the first use of SPI and Forward Scouting® for offshore wind. This cost effective and data intensive approach is now widely accepted by BOEM and other regulatory agencies. Seven years of fisheries monitoring at the site pioneered an approach that effectively produced defensible results that satisfied multiple stakeholders. Those results are now published and are the highest resolution fisheries results from any wind farm in the world. We have also designed and conducted technical studies to address concerns related to cable routing, sensitive eelgrass habitat, hard bottom habitat, lobsters, recreational boating, NEPA documentation and EFH mapping. With the current growth in offshore wind energy, INSPIRE is successfully applying this experience to projects along the U.S. eastern seaboard from Massachusetts to North Carolina and along the U.S. west coast.