CSA Ocean Sciences (CSA), a leader in marine environmental consulting and provider of multidisciplinary services, announced the appointment of Mary Jo Barkaszi to lead the Offshore Wind and Ocean Energy unit, a growing component of CSA’s Energy Market division.

Ms. Barkaszi’s 30-year career has centered on the evaluation and mitigation of impacts on marine mammals, sea turtles, and other vulnerable species with implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and other regulatory guidelines throughout the world. As a consequence of her background in marine mammals and the intersection of offshore wind and ocean energy programs with marine mammal issues, she has led numerous Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) applications for offshore wind development and has emerged as a subject matter expert (SME) for several offshore wind projects. Ms. Barkaszi will draw from the full capabilities of CSA to support the diverse needs of the Offshore Wind and Ocean Energy market. 

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“With Mary Jo leading this growing market for CSA, we can focus on the support of our clients’ regulatory compliance needs in the intersection of living resources and Offshore Wind and Ocean Energy development,” said Mr. Kevin Peterson, CSA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Mary Jo’s unique background in marine mammal and ocean sound science gives her the knowledge to both understand and anticipate our client’s needs in this rapidly evolving regulatory environment and will prove to be a valuable resource to our customers.”

Ms. Barkaszi holds a BSc in Biology from Wittenberg University and an MSc in Biological Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology. Besides a long engagement in studies of the biology and ecology of marine mammals, Ms. Barkaszi is highly experienced in measuring the marine sound environment and translating this information into compliance with regulatory requirements, providing SME to all other CSA markets and clientele.

Ms. Barkaszi has been a member of multiple National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science teams for aerial, shipboard, and acoustic marine mammal surveys for which she implemented transect-based population surveys for scientific data collection and has collaborated in developing the technical standards for visual and passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals and sea turtles. She continues to train Marine Mammal Observers and assist in many field surveys throughout the world.  Ms. Barkaszi’s experience in acoustics includes: study design, deployment, and analysis of long term acoustic recorder data deployed for environmental baseline surveys and mitigation zone verification; modeling studies for pile driving in coastal waters and LNG deep water port facilities; project manager for marine soundscape biodiversity studies for the National Park Service; and acoustic tracking sperm whales as part of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill assessment. Ms. Barkaszi recently completed a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) contract to assess mitigation compliance and effectiveness of vessel-based observer data in the Gulf of Mexico collected between 2002 and 2015. This is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of seismic mitigation data in the U.S.

In addition to U.S.-focused working groups and symposiums, Ms. Barkaszi has been an invited speaker to regulatory agencies internationally, including Brazil (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources [IBAMA]), South Africa (Department of Environmental Affairs [DEA]), and Suriname (National Institute for Environment & Development [NIMOS]), to provide instruction on acoustic impact assessment and mitigation specific to each region.