The Crown Estate has published a wealth of data and information gathered from the former Atlantic Array offshore wind project in the Bristol Channel through its online resource, the Marine Data Exchange.
The extensive data has been brought together by The Crown Estate and this is the first time that information from the Round 3 offshore wind leasing programme has been made available in this way. The data encompasses environmental material such as bird and mammal surveys; human activity evaluations, such as shipping, navigation and archaeological data; and physical environmental detail, such as geotechnical and geophysical data and sediment sampling.
Such extensive studies can take a long time to carry out and are very expensive. For example, marine bird studies can take around 3 years to complete.
“As manager of the UK seabed, we are harnessing the power of open data to help build a picture of this natural resource for different marine users” said Dermot Grimson, Head of Strategy and Policy at The Crown Estate. “By making information easily available through the Marine Data Exchange we can help stimulate research, support academia and contribute towards the long term sustainable development of the seabed.”
The Crown Estate has started to include ‘data clauses’ into offshore leases as a means of improving understanding of the seabed. There are potential significant benefits of capturing and sharing such data, coming out of industries like wind, wave and tidal energy. To date, over 100 offshore developments have been issued agreements that include this data clause. Consequently the Marine Data Exchange was purposefully built to manage, publish and disseminate this information.