North Coast Offshore Wind Community Benefits Network

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Who We Are

The North Coast Offshore Wind Community Benefits Network is a diverse group of Tribal Nations, local government agencies and educational institutions, labor leaders, local community-based organizations, and community residents. 

We are united in our belief that if our region hosts offshore wind development, it must benefit our communities, especially those who have been left out of these conversations and harmed by past development and that it must be developed sustainably to protect natural resources. 

We support and work collaboratively with those communities to create an equitable and secure future for generations to come and center their voices in decision-making. 

On August 1, the Network submitted comments in response to BOEM’s Proposed Sale Notice of the Pacific Wind Lease Sale 1. The following Tribal Nations, local leaders, environmental and community-based organizations and local government signed. Many more were involved in its development.

Tribal Nations

  • Blue Lake Rancheria
  • Hoopa Valley Tribe
  • Trinidad Rancheria
  • Wiyot Tribe
  • Yurok Tribe

Local Governments, Districts & Agencies

  • City of Arcata
  • County of Humboldt
  • Elizabeth Burks, Executive Director, Humboldt County Association of Governments
  • Chris Drop, General Manager, Manila Community Services District
  • Peninsula Community Services District
  • Redwood Region Economic Development Commission Agencies

Community Leaders, Organizations & Institutions

  • 350Humboldt
  • Baykeeper
  • California Center for Rural Policy at CalPoly Humboldt
  • Changing Tides Family Services
  • College of the Redwoods
  • Environmental Protection and Information Center
  • Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation
  • Ken Hamik, Board Member, Humboldt County Visitors Bureau
  • Indian Natural Resources Science and Engineering Program at Cal Poly Humboldt
  • McKinleyville Family Resource Center
  • North Coast Small Business Development Center
  • Dan Reding, Business Manager, Operating Engineers Local 3

 

Additionally, the following entities submitted comment letters or have since confirmed interest in being listed as a supporter of the Network’s recommendations: 

  • City of Eureka
  • Inter-Tribal Student Services
  • Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation
  • Northern California Indian Development Council
  • Stephen O’Meara, Resident
  • Peninsula Community Collaborative
  • Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Tsnungwe Council

Community Benefits Recommendations

A 50/50 shared revenue model with the federal government to direct funds into community managed and governed funds for community investments is crucial to ensuring that offshore wind development is successful for all. To support offshore wind build-out at the scale needed to achieve state and national clean energy goals, a portion of the federal revenue generated from this project should be invested directly in the communities who will support its development. These include equitable access to quality careers, natural resource protections, reliable transportation systems, local electrification, childcare, and housing.

Community-governed funds will allow local leaders to direct resources based on the needs of their communities, providing certainty for developers that funds will be well-used as well as providing forums to work through ongoing issues like adaptive management.

Our recommended structure provides certainty and confidence for developers without any additive costs. This package is consistent with BOEM’s authorities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and key Biden Administration policies.

Our recommendations are rooted in an extensive community engagement process which identified the following direct community benefits for a successful and sustainable build-out of offshore wind:

  • Community-centered recommendations and 50% bid credit package, including:
    • Support for the Workforce Training and/or Domestic Supply Chain Development credit at 20%;
    • Support for the Lease Area Use CBA credit with an increase to bring the credit percentage to 3%;
    • New stipulation requiring creating and funding a North Coast Community Benefits Fund stipulation and a credit of 10%;
      • Creation of a community steering committee;
    • New stipulation requiring creating and funding a Regional Tribal Capacity Fund and a credit of 10%;
    • New stipulation requiring creating and funding a Tribal Fisheries Benefit Fund and a credit of 3%,
    • an Environmental Monitoring and Research Fund credit of 4%, to ensure resources to fill key data gaps, address equity, and related to new stipulations as outlined directly below in # 5, among others.
  • A new stipulation to ensure meaningful outreach and engagement with environmental justice communities;
  • Support for, with recommended changes, the Native American Communications Plan;
  • Support for the Project Labor Agreement stipulation, with recommended changes to increase opportunities for local communities, underrepresented communities, and Tribal Nations, and to address community safety;
  • New and Revised Lease stipulations to strengthen environmental protections, support adaptive management and monitoring and ensure transparency.

Our recommendations operationalize the California Coastal Commission’s environmental justice and other conditions included in their conditional concurrence and meet California’s racial equity commitments and commitments to California’s Tribes. Furthermore, the alignments between our recommended community benefits and state agencies’ joint letter offer a clear path to achieving regional environmental justice policy goals.

Why These Commitments are Critical to Regional Resilience and Success: 

  • Equitably Achieve Climate & Energy Resilience Goals

Equitable offshore wind development in our region presents a unique opportunity to

  • address multiple energy and grid reliability issues at once with clean energy including mitigating distribution level capacity issues in Humboldt;
  • meet bold state and federal climate and offshore goals, and achieve energy independence and security;
  • create a global model for equitable, community-driven clean energy projects.
  • Invest in a Strong Local Economy, High-Quality Careers, and Tribal and Commercial Fisheries

Equitable Offshore wind investments can lead to our region’s long-term health and prosperity. To achieve processes and outcomes supported by our residents, these investments must be accompanied by

  • financial commitment to establishing and funding community-governed funds;
  • workforce commitments, development opportunities and programs; and
  • community investments tailored to our communities’ most imminent infrastructure and community needs.
  • Ensure Benefits to Tribes and Underrepresented Communities

Through the Community Benefits Package, a portion of the revenue generated for the federal government will be redirected back to the North Coast Communities, especially underrepresented communities and Tribal Nations. Our region has experienced multiple cycles of racialized boom and bust extractive natural resource industries. The legacy of underinvestment due to those cycles has resulted in infrastructure needs that must be addressed to support offshore wind. Our recommended package will make paradigm-shifting changes and can empower the most-impacted communities to participate actively, drive the decision-making process, and benefit from offshore wind development.

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