TABLE 7-1 Examples of Filters That Could Impact the Development of the Practical MHK Resource




Impacts on marine species and ecosystems (e.g., nursery, juvenile and spawning habitat, keystone species)


Bottom disturbance


Altered regional water movement


Endangered Species Act


Coastal Zone Management Act


Marine Mammal Protection Act


Clean Water Act


Federal agency jurisdictions—for example, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), State Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), U.S. Coast Guard

Social and economic

Spatial conflicts (e.g., navigation, military operations, marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, viewsheds, fisheries, tourism)


Interconnection to the power grid (e.g., transmission requirements, integrating variable electricity output, shore landings)


Capital and life-cycle costs (e.g., engineering, installation, equipment, operation and maintenance, debris management, and device recovery and removal)

the devices operate could minimize the effects of direct animal strikes (Boehlert and Gill, 2010), but there are many other ways devices could affect animals, such as altering migration pathways (e.g., upstream of the device) or creating settlement surfaces for non-native species (as happens with oil rigs, for example). Some regions set aside for conservation purposes might be off-limits entirely for MHK siting, while others might have limited development in order to minimize impacts on sensitive ecosystems. There are many other potential impacts related to acoustic, chemical, temperature, and electromagnetic changes or emissions due to MHK devices. However, it is also important to note that environmental impacts related to MHK are likely to be mostly localized (within kilometers of the devices), rather than spread over large areas, which will make the impacts easier to assess spatially. This will also limit catastrophic impacts due to failure of a device or array (unlike, for example, an oil or gas well blowout).

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement