Ocean Protection, Ocean Energy
January 13 2010

Reedsport, OR Settlement Process

by Pete Stauffer

Surfrider Foundation continues to be involved in a settlement process with state and federal agencies, conservation groups, fishing groups, and Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) to agree on a precautionary approach to wave energy development off Reedsport, Oregon. Negotiations have developed a draft settlement agreement that includes an adaptive management strategy. This strategy includes study plans that OPT will conduct to identify any adverse effects from the first and second phases of the wave energy project. The company hopes to install one buoy next summer and nine additional buoys the following year. Monitoring of ecological and socioeconomic effects will help inform whether further build-out is warranted. Adaptive management ensures that parties reassess implementation of the project at each phase to avoid or minimize degradation to aquatic resources. Initial phases will include studies on aquatic species such as marine mammals, sharks, fish, plankton, and migratory birds. OPT will also study effects of wave energy buoys on recreation, public safety, crabbing, fishing, and cultural resources. Surfrider intends to remain engaged throughout the process to help ensure that adverse effects are addressed appropriately and efficiently.