Area Of Interest Nautical Mile Lines (7 and 22.5), New Jersey, Edition 2010 (Govt_admin_OWP_interest_nmline)

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New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Office of Science
Publication_Date: Unpublished Material
Area Of Interest Nautical Mile Lines (7 and 22.5), New Jersey, Edition 2010 (Govt_admin_OWP_interest_nmline)
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data
Publication_Place: Trenton, NJ
Publisher: NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
Online_Linkage: <>
Online_Linkage: <>
This data depicts the 7 and 22.5 Nautical Mile Area of Interest lines.

The proposed 'Area of Interest' is located off the coast of New Jersey beginning seven nautical miles (7 NM) from the shore and extending roughly 23 NM seaward (or the approximate 100 ft depth contour) and extending 72 nm along the Federal/State boundary from Seaside Park south to Hereford Inlet. Note that the original OWPEBS area is approximately 1,360 square NM. The proposed RFI area is approximately 1070 square NM and contains approximately 97 whole OCS blocks and 44 partial OCS blocks (1/16th of a block). Generally OCS blocks are 9 square nm. Included within this area are several avoidance zones considered to be ecologically sensitive and which may not be suitable to development. See Attached Map Number 1: Proposed Area of Interest.

Delineation of Area of Interest:

The NJDEP used data collected during its Ocean/Wind Power Ecological Baseline Studies to develop an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) to serve as a guide in identify areas of sensitivity within the study area based on features ranging from physical obstructions and usages to the presence and density of biological resources including avian populations and aquatic habitat. The attached Map Number 2: Areas of Sensitivity and Avoidance Zones within NJ Baseline Ecological Study Area delineates the portion of the study area that should not be considered for development due to the presence and number of cumulative features (categories/features in order of priority are listed below). The development of these "Avoidance Zones" may have greater adverse impacts to the physical and ecological integrity and existing usage of this area. It is important to note that this map is meant to serve as a guide only, and may best illustrate where the most environmentally sensitive and conflicting use areas are anticipated based on information currently available to the Department..

The areas identified with the Baseline Ecological Study Area for avoidance are as follows:

Northern portion of the study area which includes a major shipping lane and additional telecommunications cables. High bird densities are also present in this area due to a number of shoals and artificial underwater features, which have shown to be positively correlated with avian populations. Southernmost section of the study area where a large number of shoals and biological resources are concentrated (e.g. birds, marine mammals, sea turtles), including Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), which increases the areas sensitivity to development. State Boundary to 7 NM Line - The study also identified that avian density (sitting and feeding) markedly decreased moving from inshore to offshore, with a steep decline observed at approximately 7 NM. Thus, the area bounded by the state boundary to the 7 NM limit is also included in the avoidance area due to high avian densities, as well as for the numerous shipwrecks, reefs, and shoals that tend to also occur in this zone, in addition to higher human activity from recreational and commercial vessels (e.g. the Tug Barge Transit Route roughly follows this 7 NM line).

Categories and Description of Environmentally Sensitive Areas:

The following categories describe the rationale for determining environmentally sensitive areas. The categories are in order of priority. The areas recommended to be removed from consideration for the RFI were primarily based on the first four categories.

No Build Areas (i.e. Shipping lanes, traffic separation zones, pipelines and cables, artificial reefs, and shipwrecks) - Development should be excluded in blocks containing some of these features (e.g., shipping lanes) since they would directly and adversely affect shipping. Buffer areas may also be required to avoid impacts. Shoals - Should be avoided since they function as feeding grounds and nurseries for various pelagic and bottom-dwelling species, as well as serve as fishing/feeding hotspots for recreational and commercial fishermen, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals. High Avian Densities - Mostly concentrated within state waters along the coast, however some hotspots found offshore, usually associated with shoals or other unique bottom features and/or oceanographic dynamics. Development should be avoided in these areas since adverse affects may be incurred due to the greater potential for in flight mortality due to collisions with wind turbines, avoidance behaviors caused by the disturbance/presence of turbines and disturbance of bottom features. Distance from Shore - the results of the OWPEBS found that birds, certain marine mammals and other resources were found in higher densities closer to shore. As stated above, bird activity begins to decrease beyond 7 NM from the coast. Therefore, environmental impacts would generally be expected to be reduced with increasing distance from the shoreline. Fishing hotspots - Although usually associated with shoals, other natural and artificial bottom features can contribute to their productivity, thus should be avoided when possible. Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles - As shown in the OWPEBS, marine mammal and sea turtles densities are roughly evenly distributed throughout the study area, and low in number (with the exception of dolphins). However, marine mammal and sea turtle densities are often found to be higher near underwater features such as shoals and ridges. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) - EFHs, although not well defined in the study area, do occur for numerous fish species, and are known to use the area during all or some life stages. In some cases, EFHs in the Study Area overlap (especially in the South), increasing impact potential.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Division of Science, Research & Technology (now the Office of Science) issued a Solicitation for Research Proposals (SRP) in order to address the need for baseline ecological/natural resource data as recommended by the State of New Jersey Blue Ribbon Panel on Development of Wind Turbine Facilities in Coastal Waters.

The objective of this study is to conduct baseline studies in waters off New Jersey's coast to determine the current distribution and usage of this area by ecological resources. The scope of work includes the collection of data on the distribution, abundance and migratory patterns of avian, marine mammal, sea turtle and other species in the study area over an 24-month period.

Please see "Cross Reference Information" for additional information.
Calendar_Date: 201008
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East_Bounding_Coordinate: -73.597172
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South_Bounding_Coordinate: 38.764652
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Theme_Keyword: Wind Power
Theme_Keyword: Nautical Mile
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Theme_Keyword: areas_of_interest_nmlines
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Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Office of Science
Publication_Date: Unknown
Title: Ocean Wind Power Ecological Baseline Study
Publication_Place: Trenton, NJ
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Office of Science
Online_Linkage: <>
Online_Linkage: <>

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Entity_Type_Label: areas of interest_NM_lines
Entity_Type_Definition: 7 and 22.5 Nautical Mile (Area of Interest)
Entity_Type_Definition_Source: NJDEP
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Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.
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Attribute_Definition: 7 and 22.5 Nautical Mile (Area of Interest)
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Enumerated_Domain_Value: 7 NM
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22.5 Nautical Mile Area of Interest line. This line is also 2.5 Nautical Miles form the Study Area line.
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Entity_and_Attribute_Overview The data provided through the NOAA ENC Direct to GIS service is derived from elctronic data that conforms to the International Hydrographic Organization Transfer Standard for Digital Hydrographic Data, Special Publication S-57, ENC Product Specification Edition 2.0. The entity and attribute descriptions are contained in the standard. The standard is available from the IHO at <>.
Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: IHO S-57, Edition 3.1 .

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State_or_Province: NJ
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Metadata_Date: 20100812
Contact_Person: Joseph J. Bilinski
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Office of Science
Address_Type: mailing address
Address: 428 E. State Street, 1st Floor
Address: P.O. Box 420
City: Trenton
State_or_Province: NJ
Postal_Code: 08625-0409
Contact_Voice_Telephone: (609) 984-1503
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