Skip to main content

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Extensive development of offshore wind energy infrastructure (OWI) is planned for the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). This project aims to facilitate strategic, science-based OWI planning by evaluating its potential impacts on fish and fisheries. To do so, we will synthesize data related to the potential artificial reef effect and exclusion zone effect from OWI. In particular, we propose analyses of fisheries data related to artificial reefs, oil and gas infrastructure, and marine protected areas as proxies to understand and predict OWI impacts. These analyses will inform our development of ecosystem models for GoM OWI using Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace, which will leverage mission overlap with NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program, and Restore Science Program. Our data syntheses and ecosystems models will be co-developed and guided by working group members who represent the broad diversity of scientific, manager, and industry stakeholders in OWI. Informed with these data and models, our transdisciplinary NCEAS working group will work with key stakeholders to co-develop conceptual assessments, identify critical uncertainties, and direct the pathways to investigate them. Our project presents a timely opportunity to set research priorities, co-design empirical experiments, and direct monitoring efforts before the forthcoming construction and operation of GoM OWI.

Group photo of the GEI Harris working group, standing in front of an ocean-themed mural at NCEAS.

Principal Investigator(s)

Holden Harris, Willem Klajbor

Project Dates

Start: October 1, 2023

End: June 30, 2025



Jason Adriance
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Leann Bosarge
Southern Shrimp Alliance
Nathan Brugnone
Michigan State University
David Chagaris
University of Florida
Raymond Czaja
University of California, Santa Barbara
Sarah Gibbs
University of South Alabama
Holden Harris
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
William Heyman
LGL Ecological Research Associates, Inc.
Michelle A. Johnston
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Willem Klajbor
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
James A. Morris
NOAA, National Ocean Service (NOS)
William F. Patterson
University of Florida
Ryan Rindone
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Skyler Sagarese
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Mariana Steen
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Shayna Sura
University of California, Santa Barbara
James Tolan
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
John F. Walter
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Caitlin Young
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Are you part of a working group or visiting NCEAS for another opportunity? Check out our page of resources for you.

Learn More