The WESE Project has been structured in seven work packages, including two operational work packages, for the management of the project (WP1) and the exploitation of its results (WP7) and five core work packages (WPs 2 to 6):. Work package 2 and 3 will focus on environmental monitoring (WP2) around devices operating at sea in Spain and Portugal (Marmok-A-5 and Mutriku OWC plant in the Basque Country and WaveRoller in Peniche) and modelling (WP3) of future cumulative pressures and impacts in relation to the following environmental aspects:
- Underwater and aerial sound propagation: animals use sound in marine environments for communication, social interaction, orientation, predation and evasion. The addition of anthropogenic noise sources from operational wave devices may induce behavioural changes in marine animals;
- Energy removal: in marine environments, physical systems act as drivers for the sustainability and health of organisms. The installation of wave devices may affect the system by changing natural flow patterns around devices, which can alter sediment distribution and transport. A small number of wave devices will not create measurable changes, but large commercial arrays might change the physical system over time;
- Electromagnetic fields (EMFs): occur naturally in the marine environment, while anthropogenic activities may create altered or additional sources of EMF, including those from wave devices export cables; cables are commonly buried in or lying on the seabed, while inter-device cables may be suspended in the water column;
- Seafloor integrity: the installation of wave devices alters benthic (bottom) habitats by the addition of gravity foundations, piles, or anchors, as well as the sweep of mooring lines, cables, and mechanical moving parts.