POSEIDON: Changing the game for offshore wind and nature
Natural England is leading the multi-year POSEIDON project (Planning Offshore Wind Strategic Environmental Impact Decisions) which seeks to support the expansion of sustainable offshore wind alongside thriving marine nature. This will be achieved through updated spatial models for the species and habitats most vulnerable to offshore wind impact and an integrated risk and opportunity map.
The project is part of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme (OWEC) led by The Crown Estate, in partnership with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. POSEIDON brings together industry, academia, and government, including the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC).
POSEIDON started by collating existing data about seabirds, marine mammals, and the seabed to identify gaps in the knowledge base. These are now being filled through a two-year survey campaign. Digital Aerial Surveys of seabirds and marine mammals are taking place in the North Sea and the Irish Sea with benthic data collection in the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea and the English Channel. The new data collected through POSEIDON will be made publicly available via the Marine Data Exchange with the launch of the final mapping and modelling tools planned in September 2025.