CORE Hub Mar. 12 Newsletter

Hello everyone! February may be over, but our love for working together to advance our collective interests is stronger than ever. Enclosed are important updates, action items, and ways you can contribute to advancing our efforts to make a just, clean energy transition a reality.

KEY UPDATES

Updates on Crowley: 

  • On February 28, 2024, several partners met with Crowley to discuss Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples’ (MMIP) terms and legally binding mechanisms ensuring incorporation and enforcement of the terms. Crowley shared that they are still committed to the project, however will not be renewing the option to lease once it expires at the end of March, which you can read more about in this week’s Lost Coast Outpost article. Given that the Wind Energy Area will likely begin construction around 2033-2035, the wind terminal project design is not ready yet, and the EIR is not complete, it was too early for them to sign an option. They have stated that they are supportive of MMIP terms, however have not committed to including such terms in an option to lease or lease if/when they pursue the role of terminal developer/project lead.
  • This is an important moment to move a set of asks forward to the Harbor District about what you/we want to see in the next RFP for the project, and what you/we want to see in the selection process. We’re working on a draft set of recommendations and will share and discuss/modify with partners in the coming 2 weeks.
    • Summary of Lost Coast Outpost article:
      Crowley Wind Services’s Partner Agreement With the Harbor District Will Expire Without a Lease, Leaving Future Relationship Unclear
      Lost Coast Outpost | Ryan Burns | Mar 6, 2024

      Crowley Wind Service’s exclusive right to negotiate with the Port of Humboldt Bay will expire at the end of the month without the anticipated agreement. Representatives from Crowley and The Humboldt Bay Harbor District remain confident about the future of the project but it is unclear what level of involvement Crowley will have. The Harbor District may wind up issuing a new request for qualifications (RFQ) in the coming months in hopes of recruiting another company. The Harbor District is tasked with securing more than $400 million in private sector funds to match the massive federal grant announced six weeks ago which Crowley had previously agreed to help with. 

On Wednesday, the Yurok Tribal Council voted to formally oppose the development of floating offshore wind energy projects

From the Yurok Tribe Facebook page:

The Tribal Council opposes offshore wind for the following reasons:

  • The 900-foot-tall offshore wind turbines will indelibly tarnish sacred cultural sites from the coast to the high country.
  • There is insufficient scientific research on the adverse environmental impacts associated with the massive floating wind turbines and platforms. The Tribe is gravely concerned about potential risks to the interlinked ecosystem extending from the deep ocean to the headwaters of the Klamath River.
  • The federal government has not recognized the Yurok Tribe’s unceded ocean territory or its sovereign authority to determine whether and how this territory should be developed.

    The Yurok Tribal Council will soon issue a resolution on the tribal governing body’s opposition to proposed offshore wind projects in Yurok ancestral territory.

Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District 

  • Regular meeting will take place Thursday March 14 at 6:00 pm at Woodley Island Marina Meeting Room, 601 Startare Drive, Eureka, CA. The agenda will be published later today. Blue Lake Rancheria fellows will present their research on best practices in port electrification. Come out to support their work! Also consider comments affirming interest in and importance of a green terminal and the need to include related expertise in the next RFP and selection process for a developer partner.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION AND LEADERSHIP

  • Environmental Justice Small Grants Program | Applications open March 11, 2024
    • The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is partnering with Justice Outside to offer grants that support solutions and people on the frontlines, deepen community engagement and collaborative leadership networks, and create systems change through field building among Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color along the coast. Applications for grants along the California coast open March 11, 2024.

      Learn more about the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program here.

      Attend a webinar on March 15 about the application process. Register Here.

  • AB 525 – State Strategic Plan for Offshore Wind: Public Comment Deadline | March 22, 2024
    • Register Here for CEC’s March 20 workshop on the draft strategic plan

      CEC has announced a virtual workshop will be held on March 20, 2024 to present the draft AB 525 strategic plan that is currently out for public comments. There will be opportunities for public comment to receive feedback as well as the ability to submit written comments after the workshop.

      CORE Hub is currently working with partners to draft a comment letter. We’ll have a draft ready for review by 3/19. We urge partners to submit letters to the Energy Commission formally requesting an extension of the deadline and local workshops. Please see attached template letter. Submit letters/comments to the CEC here.  We assume that the CEC will grant an extension, but don’t know what the timeframe for announcing that will be, or how much longer a window they will provide. We have a final comment work session scheduled for Tues 3/26 (3:30-5pm) in the event an extension is granted.

  • The CPUC Equity and Access Grant Program
    See Grant Opportunities Here

    The California Public Utilities Commission is offering a range of grants through their Equity and Access Grant Program, including the Public Participation Grant Account ​​to remove financial and capacity-based barriers to participation in CPUC events and activities; the Equity, Engagement, and Education Grant Account to build CBO, Tribal, and community capacity to understand and engage with CPUC decision-making processes; and the Clean Energy Access Grant Account. More information on the Clean Energy Access Grant Account can be found here (PW: aEtJXFE3) and here.

CORE Hub Update

PEIS Scoping Comment Letter

  • On February 20, CORE Hub submitted the final PEIS Scoping Comment Letter. As next steps, BOEM is expecting a draft PEIS available to the public in September 2024. The draft PEIS will provide more comment opportunities for CORE Hub and its network to emphasize community and tribal priorities to be considered in the final PEIS document. You can track BOEM’s latest updates on the PEIS process here.

MEDIA CLIPS AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Integrated Science Plan for Offshore Wind, Wildlife, and Habitat in U.S. Atlantic Waters  

    The Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind | 2024 

    Four sectors (U.S. federal agencies, Atlantic coast states, offshore wind companies, and environmental nonprofits) formed the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC) and collectively developed this Science Plan to inform ongoing offshore wind, wildlife, and habitat data collection and research in U.S. Atlantic waters, to identify gaps and needs for research and data collection, and to describe a framework for collaboration to address those needs.  Read the report to learn about the research and implementation recommendations. 

  • Finding Del Norte’s Place In The Offshore Wind Energy Conversation

    Wild Rivers Outpost | Jessica Cejnar Andrews | March 4, 2024 

    This past Saturday, stakeholders in the region met for a panel discussion on offshore wind energy generation on the North Coast, particularly focusing on Del Norte County. While there is opposition to offshore wind energy, community leaders recognize the need to participate in negotiations for community benefits.  The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors is reconsidering its initial stance on offshore wind energy discussions. Despite challenges such as disparity between the education requirement for those jobs and Del Norte residents’ educational attainment and workforce preparation, there’s an emphasis on organizing communities to ensure they benefit from offshore wind projects.

  • Final North Atlantic Right Whale and Offshore Wind Strategy Released 

    NRDC | Dr. Francine Kershaw |  February 2, 2024 

    NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have unveiled the final North Atlantic Right Whale and Offshore Wind Strategy, a significant move aimed at safeguarding North Atlantic right whales while advancing offshore wind energy development responsibly. The strategy outlines goals and actions to assess and address potential impacts on the whales and their habitat, building upon existing measures to ensure their protection amidst offshore wind development. 

  • Electromagnetic Field Effects on Marine Life 

    U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research | 2024 

    This report identifies subsea power cables (which are used in offshore wind infrastructure) as sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF), with induced electric and magnetic fields. While some marine animals, like sharks and sea turtles, use natural EMFs for crucial functions such as navigation, studies show that proximity to subsea cables can induce behavioral responses like increased foraging. Although these responses haven’t been linked to negative population effects yet, further research is required to fully understand the impact of EMFs on wildlife.

Be sure to use the sign-up form at the bottom of this page to join our mailing list for more updates on local happenings!

Previous CORE Hub Feb. 7 Newsletter
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