Vineyard Wind, Monday, announced the appointment of Crista Bank as Fisheries Liaison. In this role, Bank will lead the project’s regional engagement with fishing industry representatives on Cape Cod and the Islands, the South Coast, Rhode Island, and along the East Coast.
Bank, a fisheries scientist, brings extensive local, regional, national, and international experience and deep knowledge of marine science and fisheries issues to her role at Vineyard Wind.
“We’re pleased to have Crista lead our efforts to address the important questions the fishing industry have raised about the impacts of offshore wind development on the marine environment and on sea life,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer with Vineyard Wind. “Crista will play a key role in ensuring that the first large-scale offshore wind project in the US helps establish a robust body of knowledge that will benefit the American offshore wind industry and the fishing community for decades to come.”
Most recently, Crista served as a fisheries biologist at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at UMass Dartmouth, working on collaborative research projects with commercial fishermen studying cod, monkfish, and halibut. Previously, she served on the Schooner Ernestina, the only surviving 19th century Gloucester-built fishing schooner and one of two remaining examples of the Fredonia-style schooners, where she earned her 100-ton United States Coast Guard Captain’s license. Bank also worked on board traditional sailing vessels across the world, including journeys to the Indian and Atlantic oceans. She started her career teaching marine science at outdoor experiential education programs in New England, Southern California, and the Florida Keys. Crista earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from UMass Dartmouth and a Master’s degree in Fisheries Oceanography from SMAST.
In May, Vineyard Wind was selected to negotiate long-term contracts with Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies (EDCs) for construction of an 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard; the project will provide the amount of clean energy used by over 400,000 homes across Massachusetts.
Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin site construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.