Dr. Mark M. Bundy, director of environmental programs at the Morgan State University Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL), has been awarded $184,947 for his study, “Economic Impact of the Proposed Wind Turbines on Offshore Marine Recreational Fishing Industry.” The goal of the project is to develop a bio-economic model for assessing the impact of wind farms on the local recreational fishing industry.
The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (HB 226) allows for the development of a wind turbine farm between 10 and 30 miles off the Maryland coast. While the exact location of the turbines has yet to be determined, this is an area frequented by recreational anglers. Wind turbines and other structures in open water are often considered to have a positive impact on fishery populations by providing such benefits as a surface for food sources to grow on and refuge from larger predators. Working with other researchers, Dr. Bundy will conduct a two-year study to estimate the potential impacts of wind turbines on Ocean City’s recreational fishery. They will then use these estimates to assess the economic impact on the local economy. This approach has the potential to be used as a model for other jurisdictions to evaluate the economic impact of installing wind turbines.
Dr. Bundy has been with Morgan State University for the past 8 years since retiring from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Prior to retiring, he was the Assistant Secretary for Chesapeake Bay Programs where he was responsible for the overall administration of the Department’s activities related to the coordination and implementation of State and interstate policy on the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and management of Maryland’s coastal zone. During his career, he held numerous positions in the Department of Natural Resources including the Administrator for Economic Studies with the Department’s Power Plant Research Program. Dr. Bundy received his doctorate from the University of Maryland and has focused his research on regional economic impact assessment.
The Morgan PEARL is a 22,000 square foot laboratory and office building located on part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed near the Patuxent River in Saint Leonard, Maryland. Research conducted at the facility is designed to promote better management and protection of coastal ecosystems. Researchers at PEARL have over 40 years of experience studying fishery resources.