Goodale and Milman publish Cumulative Adverse Impacts study

Date Posted: 
Monday, December 1, 2014

IGERT Fellow Wing Goodale and Environmental Conservation professor Dr. Anita Milman have published an article titled “The cumulative adverse effects of offshore wind energy development on wildlife” in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (

Analysis of cumulative adverse effects (CAE) is both a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and necessary to minimize the effects of offshore wind development (OWED) on wildlife. In practice addressing CAE of OWED on wildlife is stymied by a poor understanding of the effects of OWED on wildlife; a lack of clarity on how to best determine the temporal, spatial, and source boundaries to be used in CAE; and undefined baselines to against which CAE can be measured. The article by Goodale and Milman synthesizes the ecological research on effects of OWED on wildlife (fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, birds, and bats); depicts the pathways of accumulation; delineates a framework for determining the scope of CAE assessments; describes approaches to avoiding, minimizing and compensating for CAE; and discusses critical uncertainties. The article concludes by recommending a collaborative governance process be used to reduce scoping uncertainty, to incorporate climate change into risk assessments, to establish best practices to minimize CAE, to facilitate data sharing and research, and to determine reasonable mitigation measures.