The Middletown Township Committee unanimously passed a resolution that expresses support for a federal and/or state moratorium on offshore wind energy projects along the New Jersey coastline at the Monday, March 6 Township Committee Meeting. There are currently multiple wind turbine projects to construct offshore wind farms 10 to 20 miles off the New Jersey coastline in various stages of development.
There are serious concerns with offshore wind energy, such as the recent increase in whale deaths, that have not been adequately addressed as these wind turbine projects continue to move through the planning stages. Wind farms could also have a negative impact on the commercial fishing industry’s vital offshore fishing grounds as well as New Jersey’s multi-billion tourism industry.
“In addition to protecting our local marine life and commercial fishing industry, the Township Committee and I want to ensure that the Bayshore and Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook are not impacted by the potential effects and visibility of these wind turbines,” said Mayor Tony Perry.
The wind turbines require connections to the power grid using high-voltage electrical mainline connections, which have the potential of negatively impacting the fragile Sandy Hook Bay environment. “Our concerns need to be fully addressed before future construction of offshore wind farms takes place,” said Mayor Perry.
Residents and business owners also have concerns about how this visual pollution will affect tourism and local property values since these turbines will be visible from the New Jersey coastline and other oceanfront beach locations.
“The scale, scope, magnitude, and speed of the proposed 31 offshore wind powerplants proposed in the region are unprecedented and reckless,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “We must first understand the potential impacts so we can ensure the protection of marine life and the ocean, which is why Clean Ocean Action is calling for a comprehensive, scientific, independent, peer-reviewed pilot study,” she continued. “I’m grateful to Mayor Perry and the Middletown Township Committee and others who have expressed concerns about how these wind turbines will affect our marine environment, and for calling on state and federal agencies to provide answers to questions.”