Can Offshore Wind Development Have a Net Positive Impact on Biodiversity? Regulatory and Scientific Perspectives and Considerations

Can Offshore Wind Development Have a Net Positive Impact on Biodiversity? Regulatory and Scientific Perspectives and Considerations

Thursday, April 20, 2023 
Friday, April 21, 2023
Roger Williams University School of Law

The concept of achieving “net positive impact on biodiversity” (NPI) is not new; however, the application of this concept to offshore wind development is relatively new. In the offshore wind context, there is no universal framework, consensus as to definitions, or specific regulatory scheme for integrating biodiversity goals into new projects. This symposium will explore the concept of NPI in the ocean and near coastal environment, and ask whether and how it should be integrated into offshore wind projects in the United States. The symposium will bring together scientific, regulatory, legal, and industry experts from the United States and Europe to discuss: (1) the concept of NPI generally, and specifically in the offshore wind context especially as it relates to a well-established mitigation hierarchy; (2) whether increased biodiversity is the appropriate metric and how success would be measured; (3) the existing status of various drivers—including environmental, governmental, financial, and corporate—for the NPI approach in the offshore wind development context; (4) the existing approaches to incorporating environmental benefit considerations into agency decision-making in the United States and in other countries; and, (5) technological and project specific examples of how nature-inclusive designs and environmental benefits are being applied in the United States and other countries. The symposium is intended to be future oriented, educational, neutral, and high-level.

This program has been approved for 12.5 Rhode Island MCLE credits.

Video Recordings

Co-Hosted by The Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law and The Nature Conservancy 

Please contact the Marine Affairs Institute at or 401-254-5392 with any questions you may have. 


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Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.