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The U.S. Energy Department is spending $16 million in an attempt to harness energy from ocean waves and tides.

But just as wind turbines kill birds, wave- and tide-generated energy may harm fish. So more than half of the projects announced on Thursday — nine out of 17 — will examine environmental concerns, including how wave and tidal devices may affect fish and other marine life.

The Obama administration believes that wave and tidal energy is a “large, untapped resource for the United States” and that “responsible development of this clean, renewable energy source is an important part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson.