Ocean Views: International scientist to speak about offshore wind farms

Mon, 04/20/2009 - 4:00am

04/18/09 - Denmark-based scientist Dr. Tony Fox will speak on Block Island about the process of developing offshore wind farms in Denmark and the impact of the farms on birds and other wildlife. His presentation, “The Danish experience: assessing the effects of offshore wind farms,” is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at 5 p.m. at the St. Andrew’s Parish Center on Spring Street. It is free and open to the public.

Fox is professor of wetland ecology at the National Environmental Research Institute in Denmark, and has been a lead scientist for the Danish offshore wind energy assessment of impacts on migratory birds. In addition to his Block Island talk, Fox will deliver the keynote speech at the Rhode Island Natural History Survey’s annual conference (“Rhode Island’s Off-Shore Marine Ecosystem and the Potential Impacts of Alternative Energy Development”) on April 23, and he will be meeting with colleagues at the University of Rhode Island who are involved in creating the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) to identify the best uses of Rhode Island’s offshore environment.

Of special interest to the Block Island audience will be Fox’s experience with existing offshore wind turbines, his ornithological expertise and his background in wetland ecology.

The talk is a wonderful opportunity for island residents to learn first hand how offshore wind turbines affect local ecosystems and communities. Fox is an engaging speaker, and to quote Dr. Scott McWilliams of URI, he is a “Great guy, great scientist.” There will be ample opportunity for questions.

In addition to Fox, URI professors McWilliams and Peter Paton will give a summary of their avian radar project to detect patterns of bird distribution around Block Island as part of the SAMP project.

Fox’s talk is presented by the Ocean View Foundation, which is entering its 10th year of providing environmental education programs for the benefit of the Block Island community.

For more information:

Tony Fox: www2.dmu.dk/1_Om_DMU/2_medarbejdere/cv/employee2_NH.asp?PersonID=TFO

Ocean SAMP go to: http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/oceansamp/

R.I. Natural History Survey: www.rinhs.org

Ocean View Foundation: www.oceanviewfoundation.org