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Talk Around Town: Offshore Wind Turbines

“By 2030, federal agencies expect offshore wind power plants in the Northeast to cover 2.4 million acres of seafloor with 3,400 turbines requiring 10,000 miles of cables and an additional 5.7 million acres also under consideration for further development. While COA is not opposed to offshore wind power, the scale, scope, magnitude, and speed of offshore wind powerplants proposed in the region are unprecedented and reckless; it is too much too fast. Science is needed first to understand the many potential impacts including cumulative 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.” –Clean Ocean Action Executive Director Cindy Zipf 

“From rising seas that threaten our coastline to higher temperatures that endanger the health of our most vulnerable residents, climate change is already impacting New Jersey, and we must act to reduce its adverse effects. Through the responsible development of offshore wind facilities, we can protect our aquatic and coastal resources and the communities who rely upon them while taking bold action to address the climate crisis by reducing emissions from fossil-fuel dependent energy sources. Alongside our interagency colleagues and stakeholders, the Department of Environmental Protection will play an important role in advancing this critical work in the years ahead.” –NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette

“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. Our concerns need to be fully addressed before future construction of offshore wind farms takes place.” –Middletown Mayor Tony Perry

“Offshore wind constitutes a crucial component of [New Jersey’s] journey to 100 percent clean energy by 2035, a benchmark that solidifies our position at the national forefront of climate action. In addition to safeguarding our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change, this emerging industry will generate thousands of good-paying jobs and economic opportunity across the state.” –Governor Phil Murphy

“I support renewable energy projects like offshore wind – as long as they are implemented in a responsible, sustainable manner. Current plans for offshore wind farms off the coast of New Jersey call for massive industrialization of these waters – cutting through migratory lanes for Humpback Whales and, among others, endangered north Atlantic Right Whales. The scale, speed and siting of these projects do not appear to be sustainable and will come at a huge cost to our marine ecosystem. To date, there have been no examinations of the deceased whales’ ears, and this is the evidence needed to prove that sonar mapping activities are not causing whale deafness, disorientation and subsequent strikes by ships. Further, the whale ecosystem includes critical phytoplankton, that contribute at least 50 percent of all oxygen to our atmosphere by capturing an estimated 40 percent of all CO2 produced. That’s four Amazon forests. We need to widen our lens.” –Fair Haven resident Stephanie Adams

“I really love that we have more whales than ever off the Jersey Shore, and I’m very disturbed by the recent whale deaths. As far as I can tell, the biggest threat to our whales is shipping and climate change. Did you know that 40 percent of shipping is related to fossil fuels? At any rate, the expert organizations all say that ship strikes are a big problem for whales. None support the idea that offshore wind is a problem. We know that if we don’t build offshore wind we will have more air pollution in New Jersey, which means more asthma for children and other health problems. So I think we need to move forward to build responsible offshore wind as quickly as we can – and I’d like it if NOAA would adopt and enforce its new regulations on lower ship speeds.” –Fair Haven resident Sarah Fischell

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