As our offshore work on Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) continues, we remain committed to maintaining communications with fishing communities and other mariners in the area via these periodic updates as well as dock visits, informational speaking engagements and additional information posted on the CVOW website.
All mariners are encouraged to contact Dominion Energy’s Fisheries Liaisons below with any specific questions about CVOW project activities in relation to fisheries.
Recent announcements include:
- UXO identification surveys are complete, and the Project is shifting to UXO relocation activities.
Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Relocation Activities
Project vessels HOS Innovator, HOS Warland and HOS Mystique will be starting UXO relocation activities in and around the export cable corridor offshore, followed by relocation in the NE section of the lease area and then closer to shore east of the DNODS site. Vessels engaged in UXO operations will fly the international maritime signaling flag bravo.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) published Docket Number USCG-2024-0081 to the Federal Register to establish a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 1,000-yard radius of the HOS Innovator, HOS Warland and/or the HOS Mystique. Operations are planned to relocate UXO in the Atlantic Ocean within 12 miles of the shores of the State Military Reservation, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, other mariners and the marine environment from potential hazards created by these operations. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Sector Virginia or a designated representative.
This rule is effective and subject to enforcement from January 26, 2024, through July 1, 2024. The USCG will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF–FM marine channel 16 when the zone is being enforced. For vessels requesting to enter the Safety Zone, coordinate with Project vessels on VHF Ch 16 prior to entry or with USCG.
CVOW and Fisheries Resource Surveys
In partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC), Dominion Energy is conducting resource assessment studies for Black Sea Bass, Channeled Whelk and Atlantic Surfclam in the project area, specifically in the areas shown on the chartlet below. The use of novel acoustic release device technology limits or eliminates the need for vertical lines and marker buoys in the water.
- Black Sea Bass: The study consists of 8-strings of ventless traps with 6-traps per string. Sampling once per month with a 48-hour soak utilizing acoustic release buoys to recover gear. The chart below displays sampling area, which includes locations south of the lease area. The study is currently taking place, utilizing the VIMS R/V Bay Eagle, and will continue for the next 18 months.
- Channeled Whelk: The study uses 18-strings of 7 pots, a 48-hour soak time, and recovery by acoustic release buoys. This cooperative study will begin in Q1 2024 and will be completed in partnership with local commercial whelk fishermen over the next 18 months.
The Nature Conservancy is planning a fish tagging study that will take place in the vicinity of the existing CVOW pilot project turbines. More information on this study will be provided when details are available.
Vessel details are as follows:
Call Sign: WDH6999
LOA: 302 ft
Beam: 76 ft
Call Sign: WDA4032
LOA: 238 ft
Beam: 54 ft
Call Sign: WDE3118
LOA: 250 ft
Beam: 54 ft
RHIB Zodiac Pro 7
F/V Lady Isla
Whelk Survey Vessel
F/V Thomas Reed
Whelk Survey Vessel
R/V Bay Eagle
Call Sign: WBR3978
LOA: 65 ft
Project Construction 3 Month Look Ahead
|UXO Disposition (relocation)
|Offshore cable corridor and lease area
|Harpers Road Substation Construction begins
|Onshore Edge of NAS Oceana
|Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Punchout Construction begins
|Late February/Early March
|Onshore State Military Reservation towards offshore
|Monopile and Transition Piece arrival and staging
|Balance of 2024
|Onshore Portsmouth Marine Terminal
|Pre-lay Grapnel Runs
|Offshore throughout CVOW Lease area
|2024 Monopile Installation season begins
|CVOW Lease Area
Schedule is tentative and subject to change.
Did you know ...?
Trained personnel will be on board every project vessel during construction activities to ensure the protection of marine mammals and other protected marine species. Dedicated Visual Observers (DVOs) will look out for protected species while vessels are underway, Environmental Compliance Monitors on every vessel will ensure all crew and vessels are meeting regulatory requirements, and Protected Species Observers (PSOs) are deployed on select vessels. The PSOs are NOAA trained and approved, highly specialized observers that will be responsible for maintaining a keen watch on the surrounding waters, directing the start and stop of certain operations based on real-time observations and reporting any sighted species to the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.
Please consult the USCG 5th District Local Notice to Mariners for additional information on offshore activity and, as always, please adhere to the USCG Rules of the Road for Mariners.
For more information on Dominion Energy's CVOW activities, click here.
Contact Fisheries Liaisons
If you would like more information on Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW), please visit our project website.
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