The ecological investigations at alpha ventus aimed to predict the extent to which future wind farms will endanger the marine environment and to identify environmental impacts at the ear-liest possible stage in order to avoid adverse effects on marine organisms.
The ecological monitoring followed a coordinated, synergetic approach: The mandatory StUK monitoring was supplemented with additional research projects (so called "StUKplus" projects) conducted over a larger area, at higher
intensity with new investigation methods covering benthic organisms, fish, passage migrants, migratory birds and marine mammals. The studies were supplemented by underwater noise measurements. Being designed as effect monitoring, a before/after comparison study was carried out. Comprehensive preliminary studies were conducted at the test site before construction as early as 2008.
During the extensive field research programme, novel observation methods and technologies such as aerial digital survey techniques and new bird migration radars were applied for the first time in German waters. The purpose of the ecological research was to gain a better un-derstanding of possible environmental impacts of offshore wind farms and to evaluate the second update of the StUK standard (StUK3, BSH 2007) which was used for the first time in an offshore windfarm during construction and operation – i.e. in the alpha ventus offshore test site.
Reports (German) of the ecological monitoring according to StUK3 can be viewed here.
Reports (German) of the StUKplus research project can be viewed here. The StUKplus project was funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The StUKplus research is part of the research initiative RAVE (Research at alpha ventus).