February 6, 2024
Marine Scientist Ordoñez-Gauger Will Lead Engagement with Fishermen and Fishing Communities in Conjunction with Floating Offshore Wind Projects
(EUREKA, CA) – Vineyard Offshore today announced that Lucia Ordoñez-Gauger has joined the company as Fisheries Liaison for the West Coast, leading engagement with fishermen and fishing communities in conjunction with Vineyard Offshore’s floating offshore wind projects off the West Coast, principally the development of lease area OCS-P 0562, west of Humboldt Bay in Northern California.
As Fisheries Liaison for the West Coast, Lucia will work to ensure effective communications and good working relations with all Northern California fishermen, fishing communities, and organizations. She will coordinate fisheries survey, research, monitoring, and other activities, and look for opportunities to integrate interested fishermen into the company’s projects. She will also help to identify fisheries potentially affected by Vineyard Offshore’s projects and work with stakeholders to understand their concerns and arrive at workable solutions.
“We are excited to have Lucia join the team to work with the fishing industry on the West Coast,” said Rachel Pachter, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Offshore. “Lucia is an accomplished marine scientist who brings to Vineyard Offshore valuable experience with the North Coast fishing community. She will play a vital role in helping the offshore wind and fishing industries work together so both can thrive.”
Through development of Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, Vineyard Offshore has amassed a decade of experience working with commercial and recreational fishermen, vessel owners, fishing advocacy organizations, shore support services, and fisheries research institutions.
“In Vineyard Wind, we developed a real partnership with the fishing industry in New England,” said Vineyard Offshore Fishing Manager Crista Bank. “We maintained consistent communication with fishermen, invested in safety upgrades for vessels, and put more than 30 fishing vessels to work supporting fisheries research, scouting for fishing gear in the path of survey vessels, and acting as safety vessels during offshore cable, foundation, and now wind turbine installation. I look forward to working with Lucia to do the same thing on the West Coast.”
“I am excited to take on this incredible opportunity,” said Ordoñez-Gauger. “I love Humboldt, where I studied, and the North Coast fishing industry I did my research on. Offshore wind resources are critical for the state of California and for the climate, and it can be developed successfully only in partnership with the fishing community. I look forward to nurturing that partnership.”
Ordoñez-Gauger holds an M.S. degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Humboldt State University, now Cal Poly Humboldt, and a B.A. degree from San Diego State University. She has done research and field work on the North Coast and in Southern California, Baja California, and Ecuador. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “Assessing Fishermen’s Perceptions of the Ecology and Management of the California North Coast Marine Protected Area Network.”
About Vineyard Offshore
Vineyard Offshore is leading the development of two lease areas in the Northeast, in addition to a recently acquired lease in Northern California, OCS-P 0562. Lease area OCS-A 522, known as Vineyard Northeast, is located off the coast of Massachusetts. OCS-A 544, known as Vineyard Mid-Atlantic and home to the Excelsior Wind Project, is located in the New York Bight. Combined with its joint venture development of the first-in-the-nation offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind, now under construction, Vineyard Offshore has the potential to develop more than 6 gigawatts of clean, renewable, and affordable energy on the East and West Coasts of the United States. To learn more, visit: www.vineyardoffshore.com.