Offshore Wind

What We Do

Historic preservation and clean energy goals are not mutually exclusive.  Indeed, the historic preservation movement has been a leader in finding creative ways to address climate change and sea level rise. However, communities with significant inventories of historic properties connected to historic ocean viewsheds have legal rights under the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act that too often get overlooked.  Under these federal statutes, and related state laws, federal agencies have a duty to assess adverse effects on historic and cultural resources and find ways through consultation to avoid, minimize, or mitigate harm.  Adverse effects of offshore wind farms include, but are not limited to: visual impacts, lighting impacts, and harm to local economies that depend on the preservation and protection of historic ocean landscapes.

Our work on behalf of clients is driven by our belief that communities and offshore wind developers can and should forge long-term partnerships. Establishing trust, engaging in consultation, and developing creative solutions make it possible to achieve clean energy goals while ensuring that communities have ways to offset the development’s harms to heritage tourism, property values, and historic context.

Section 106 & NEPA Consultation

Local governments and property owners have rights to be consulted on projects and policies that affect their interests, including impacts on their cultural and environmental resources. We shepherd our clients through every step of the permitting review process. 

Learn more about our Section 106 work.

Notable Engagements

  • For a local government and community preservation organizations, we negotiated a mitigation and settlement agreement with a developer to address harms to historic properties from the construction of the nation’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm.
  • For a nonprofit owner of a National Historic Landmark lighthouse and local historical society, we helped negotiate a mitigation and settlement agreement to resolve adverse visual effects from the nation’s first offshore wind development.
  • For a community with one of the nation’s largest inventories of National Historic Landmark ocean-facing properties, we are providing ongoing representation to a local government, preservation advocacy organizations, and a university in the federal permitting review for three offshore wind farms that will drastically alter their community’s viewshed and the context of historic districts purpose-built to appreciate ocean vistas.
  • For an island community and National Historic Landmark lighthouse, we are providing ongoing representation in the federal permitting review of three offshore wind farms that will adversely affect the island’s historic ocean-facing context, disrupt tourism, and harm property values.
  • For a tourism-dependent county government facing the largest offshore wind farm in the United States, we are providing ongoing representation in the federal permitting review for wind farms proposed off its coastline, which includes a National Historic Landmark District.
  • For a federally recognized tribal nation, we are providing ongoing representation in the federal permitting review for wind farms that may affect both underwater and terrestrial cultural resources. 

Questions?

Please contact our team leader, Will Cook