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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian

561-297-2010, ggaloust@fau.edu


Florida Governor Charlie Crist Proclaims November 1-7 as 'Ocean Renewable Energy Week' in Observance of FAU’s National Conference

Conference is being hosted by the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center at FAU to bring together national and international leaders in marine science and technology


BOCA RATON, FL (November 2, 2010) —Florida Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed November 1-7, 2010 as “Ocean Renewable Energy Week” in Florida in observance of a national conference being hosted by the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University.  “Renewable Ocean Energy & the Marine Environment: Responsible Stewardship for a Sustainable Future,” will bring together national and international leaders in ocean renewable energy to explore cutting-edge science and technology to identify gaps in the current state of knowledge regarding the environmental impacts of marine renewable energy. The conference is taking place November 3-5, 2010 at PGA National Resort, 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  Conference topics will cover oceanography, benthic environments, pelagic environments, coastal environments, reefs and fish, data management, and the social and economic implications of renewable ocean energy.

            “We are truly honored that Governor Crist has designated this week to coincide with our first conference in our official role as a nationally-designated center in ocean renewable energy technology,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “Bringing together academic researchers, technology developers from industry, federal and state agency scientists, and environmental interest groups will help to ensure that our Center is a responsible steward in moving forward to provide our citizens with cost-effective and clean energy.”

            Marine ecosystems include many protected species which rely on complex food chains and undertake extensive migration patterns. Although single experimental generating systems are unlikely to have significant effects on the physical environment, large, commercial-scale arrays could have an impact. Participants at the conference will explore how testing platforms and facilities can be used effectively, while protecting complex marine ecosystems. They will identify, address and determine how to minimize and mitigate potential impacts in order to use renewable ocean energy using an approach that is environmentally and socially sound.

            “The effects on the marine environment of large-scale hydrokinetic and thermal power generation are largely unknown,” said Susan Skemp, executive director of SNMREC. “Understanding how the operations of power generation systems will interact with marine ecosystems will be a critical first step toward deploying ocean energy equipment in a sustainable manner.”

            Presenters at the conference represent SNMREC, FAU, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Interior, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center, the Hawaii National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the European Marine Energy Center, the California Natural Resources Agency, Ocean Conservancy, Oregon State University and Oregon Sea Grant, Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant, Sea Mammal Research Unit and Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom, Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research and Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy in Canada, and BioSonics, Inc.
            For more information about the conference, visit www.ces.fau.edu/conferences/coet .


- FAU -


About the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center at FAU:


In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology as a national center for ocean energy research and development. The new Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) at FAU joins centers in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii that also work to advance the operational readiness of ocean energy technologies. DOE is funding the SNMREC to undertake research and development of technologies capable of generating renewable energy from ocean currents and ocean thermal energy. The SNMREC is collaborating with industry partners to investigate, refine, fabricate and test promising next-generation water power technologies to harness the ocean’s vast energy potential. The Center’s researchers have already begun this work by deploying ocean current observation systems, establishing research on environmental baselines to determine the level of potential effects, and initiating the fabrication of support structures for ocean energy devices. The Center will ultimately perform full-scale field testing of prototype devices, an important step toward the successful development of innovative new ocean energy systems. As a public institution of higher education, FAU is also promoting public awareness of ocean energy research and development, and is developing curricula for the education of a workforce for this new industry. Formerly called the Center for Ocean Energy Technology, the Center was founded with a $5M award from the state of Florida in January 2007, and was established to research, design, develop, implement, and test ocean energy technologies that are cost-competitive with existing power technologies.


About Florida Atlantic University:


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .

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