Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Fall 2020 Virtual Seminar Series


Brian Hooker
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Monday, October 26, 2020
3:30 PM

Zoom link


The Energy Policy Act amended the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in 2005, giving the Department of the Interior the authority to lease submerged lands for "alternative" energy. The regulations implementing EPAct were effective June 29, 2009. I was hired in August 2010. In the 11 years since the establishment of the program, there has been one two-turbine offshore wind project constructed in Federal waters (Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project). This seminar will discuss the development and implementation of the Federal offshore renewable energy program on the Atlantic coast, including how offshore wind energy areas are first identified, leased, and then approved; and the environmental review process and the studies that are done to support those leasing decisions.


Brian Hooker graduated from Lynchburg College in Virginia with a B.S. in Environmental Science. After a short stint with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science planting seagrass in the Chesapeake Bay, Brian joined the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa as an Agroforestry Extension Agent. Upon his return to the States, Brian earned a degree of Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and soon thereafter accepted a job with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Brian worked for 7 years with NMFS in various fishery management capacities, including coordinating fishery management plans for golden tilefish, surfclams and ocean quahogs, horseshoe crabs, weakfish, Atlantic sturgeon, and American eel. Over the years, Brian has worked closely with U.S. Fishery Management Councils with jurisdiction in the Atlantic and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Brian began working with BOEM's Office of Renewable Energy Programs in 2010 to aid in the assessment and study of environmental impacts from offshore renewable energy along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. His area of expertise at BOEM is around protected species, essential fish habitat, and commercial and recreational fishing. He now leads a team at BOEM that is responsible for Endangered Species Act and Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act consultations and National Environmental Policy Act assessment subject matter expertise for Atlantic offshore wind projects.

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