Virginia CZM Wind Energy Area Survey- Right side - November 2012 through April 2014

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Dataset credit

Virginia Aquarium Foundation - Sarah D. Mallette, Gwen G. Lockhart, Susan G. Barco
University of North Carolina Wilmington - William A. McLellan, Ryan J. McAlarney Erin W. Cummings and D. Ann Pabst


Primary contact Sue Barco Virginia Aquarium Foundation-Research
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The data provided were collected as part of the Documenting Whale Migration off Virginia's Coast for Use in Marine Spatial Planning project - funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Grant Section 309 Environmental Enhancement Program Strategy Project of Special Merit No. NA12NOS4190027. Aerial surveys were conducted under NOAA Scientific Permits No. 948-1692-00 and 16473, held by UNCW.


On November 1, 2013, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced Dominion Virginia Power was the provisional winner of the commercial lease area offshore of Virginia (VA WEA). Development of off shore wind energy poses potential threats to marine mammals, including direct effects (i.e. vessel interactions, collision and entanglement with structures, displacement, avoidance, or injury due to noise from construction or operations) and indirect threats (i.e. effects on prey species, increased risk of fishery and vessel interaction through displacement out of the WEA) (BOEM 2012). This information is important to mitigate the potentially harmful impacts from ocean development, shipping, and other anthropogenic activities. To address these existing data gaps, we have collected marine mammal sighting data from multiple platforms in addition to sea turtle sighting data off the coast of Virginia from 2012 to 2014.

Supplemental information

[2015-02-25] Off-effort sightings were appended in response to provider's request.

The original survey data are separated into two datasets, collected from left-side and right-side observers to address variance in environmental and sighting conditions. This dataset is from the right side sightings data. The left side sightings data are available on OBIS-SEAMAP in the Virginia CZM Wind Energy Area Survey- Left side - November 2012 through April 2014 dataset.

he effort data layer, for this project is static transect lines. The plane track lines are available by request.

Off-effort sightings were removed from this dataset.


Sarah D. Mallette, Gwen G. Lockhart, Ryan J. McAlarney, Erin W. Cummings, William A. McLellan, D. Ann Pabst and Susan G. Barco. 2014. Documenting Whale Migration off Virginia’s Coast for Use in Marine Spatial Planning: Aerial and Vessel Surveys in the Proximity of the Virginia Wind Energy Area (VA WEA). VAQF Scientific Report 2014-08. pp. 89.



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
row_idRow ID (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
obs_dateObservation date
obs_timeObservation time in Eastern Standard Time
waypointWaypoint number generated by GPS
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
eventcodes assigned to each waypoint; Event. 1.1 = On effort/on track; 1.2 = Off effort. Full codes are available upon request.
track_numTrack number
observerObserver left or right
visibilityVisibility code . Code descriptions available upon request.
bssBaufort sea state
cloudCloud cover code. Code descriptions available upon request.
glare_lGlare Left code. Code descriptions available upon request.
glare_rGlare Right code. Code descriptions available upon request.
vertical_angleVertical angle in decimal degrees
horizontal_angleHorizontal angle in decimal degrees
sighting_cueSighting cue code. Code descriptions available upon request.
sp_obsSpecies name recorded
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
min_countMinimum number of animals
max_countMaximum number of animals
obs_countbest estimate of number of animals
datetime_iniInternal use generated by OBIS-SEAMAP
latitude_iniInternal use generated by OBIS-SEAMAP
longitude_iniInternal use generated by OBIS-SEAMAP
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals71
Sea turtles54
Rays and sharks5
Other species2
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2012-11-26
Date, End2014-04-26
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude36.61 - 37.29
Longitude-75.99 - -74.78
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics