Maine Field Office - Ecological Services
Northeast Region

Wind Energy

The Service's Program Roles in Wind Energy Development

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s support careful development of renewable energy resources, such as wind energy. Maine will continue to experience rapid development of its wind resources. Wind energy guidance has been developed to promote conservation of important wildlife resources while expanding the multiple environmental and economic benefits of wind energy

  • Proposed offshore wind energy facilities within three miles of the coast currently require a permit under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Conservation Planning Assistance Program routinely provides Section 10 permit application review and comment.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service administers the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Act, which both protect species that may potentially be affected by wind energy development.  Migratory bird program and CPA staff assist wind energy developers in the formation of Avian and Bat Protection Plans, designed to avoid and minimize impacts to birds and bats

    Stetson Wind tower. Credit: Steve Mierzykowski, USFWS

    Stetson Wind tower. Photo Credit: Steve Mierzykowski, USFWS


The Maine Field Office Conservation Planning Assistance Program (CPA) typically becomes involved in the review of potential wind energy developments in several ways. On public lands we get involved through the National Environmental Policy Act environmental compliance process. This may be as a cooperating agency or because of the Service's responsibilities under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, or because of the Agency's special technical expertise.  CPA may also become involved in the review of potential wind energy developments on private lands if our technical expertise in addressing wildlife issues is requested in areas known to contain concentrations of migratory or breeding birds, and/or areas where bald and or golden eagles may breed, forage, or migrate. Frequently local communities and private citizens contact us for more information about wind power projects' impacts on fish and wildlife. Finally we become involved when the wind project is required to obtain other Federal permits, including Clean Water Act permits. In that case the lead Federal agency (e.g. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) contacts us for technical assistance.

Stetson Wind Tower. Credit: Steve Mierzykowski, USFWS

Stetson Wind Tower. Photo Credit: Steve Mierzykowski, USFWS

Maine Field Office Wind Guidelines

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wind Energy Development


Last updated: October 2, 2012
Maine Field Office
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