Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Launches Conservation-Focused Study on Red Knot Migratory Patterns

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind (Atlantic Shores) has partnered with Dr. Larry Niles of the New Jersey-based Wildlife Restoration Partnerships (WRP), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and professional wildlife research organization Normandeau Associates to research the movement of endangered red knots off the coast of New Jersey during their southbound migration.

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On Reeds Beach facing the Delaware Bay, hundreds of migrating, endangered red knot sandpipers feed hungrily on horseshoe crab eggs on Cape May Peninsula, New Jersey. (Photo: Business Wire)

On Reeds Beach facing the Delaware Bay, hundreds of migrating, endangered red knot sandpipers feed hungrily on horseshoe crab eggs on Cape May Peninsula, New Jersey. (Photo: Business Wire)

Red knots, a state endangered and federally threatened shore bird, migrate each year from as far south as Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, stopping in the Delaware Bay to feast on horseshoe crab eggs before going to the Canadian Arctic to breed. Atlantic Shores and its partners are assessing whether, on their annual return trip south, red knots fly off the coast of New Jersey.

Starting this week, WRP will begin attaching satellite tags to 30 red knots as they stop in Brigantine Bay on their way south. The tags will allow a satellite to collect up to 60 pings of information on each bird’s precise location, flight path and varying altitude. Data will be collected near real-time as it is available via satellite and more comprehensively analyzed by researchers and Atlantic Shores over the coming months.

Atlantic Shores will use the data to support the development of an offshore wind project within its Lease Area, located 10-20 miles off the New Jersey coast, that will provide clean, renewable energy in a manner that minimizes and mitigates risk to these birds and the surrounding environment. Atlantic Shores has also committed to share their findings publicly to inform other researchers and offshore work.

“Building a truly green future requires that renewable energy projects are held to a high standard in terms of ecological impact,” said Larry Niles of New Jersey-based WRP. “I’m encouraged that Atlantic Shores approached me to launch this study, both to inform their plans for offshore wind in New Jersey and to further our knowledge of red knot migratory patterns. This is a great example of how private and public institutions can work together to improve the lives of people and the natural world around us.”

“Atlantic Shores leads with science. Proactive studies like these allow us to produce renewable energy based on cutting-edge, real-time environmental data,” said Jennifer Daniels, Atlantic Shores Development Director. “The red knots study is one of the many ways we intend to use data and insights from the scientific community to responsibly develop our Lease Area.”

About Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC:

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC (Atlantic Shores) is a 50/50 partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America. The joint venture formed in December 2018 to co-develop a 183,353 acre Lease Area located approximately 10-20 miles off the New Jersey coast between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light. Atlantic Shores is strategically positioned to meet the growing demands of renewable energy targets in New York, New Jersey and beyond, with strong and steady wind resources close to large population centers with associated electricity demand. Atlantic Shores, once fully developed, has the potential to generate 2,500 MW of clean, renewable wind energy – enough to power nearly one million homes. The capital and expertise needed to develop such a large area is significant. Together, Shell and EDF Renewables have the investment capability and industry experience to bring this project to scale safely, efficiently and cost effectively. For more info, go to