Hundreds Of NJ Locals Rally Against Offshore Wind Over Rash Of Whale Deaths
Hundreds of local residents in a coastal New Jersey town rallied over the weekend, calling for a federal moratorium on offshore wind energy development until the recent uptick in whale deaths was determined.
During the rally in Point Pleasant Beach, lawmakers, local officials, and environmentalists expressed concern that offshore wind construction played a role in the deaths of at least 10 whales that have been discovered over the last two months in New Jersey and New York. [emphasis, links added]
Additional dead whales have been found beached in other East Coast states, including Maryland and Virginia, since December.
“Today, the whales are sending us a tragic message that demands transparency and accountability — both of which have been sorely missing from Governor Murphy’s plan to use New Jersey’s coast as the prime location for the offshore wind industry in the U.S.,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said during the rally on Sunday. “Questions and concerns raised by me and many others have gone unanswered concerning the unexplained deaths of at least 10 whales.”
“There is a great concern for the potential serious—even catastrophic— damage to marine ecosystems leading to the destruction of New Jersey’s fishing and tourism businesses if hundreds and even thousands of wind turbines are installed off the New Jersey coast,” he continued.
“Thus far, sound surveys and the underwater noise generated by acoustic vessels have occurred, but next steps include construction, pile driving creating high-intensity underwater noise.”
Last week, a 35-foot humpback whale washed up on a beach along the New Jersey coastline located in Smith’s district. Days later, a 25-foot whale was found dead in Rockaway Beach, New York.
Smith said the additional analysis was needed to ensure that noises associated with offshore wind development are not impacting the survival of whales, dolphins, other mammals, and fragile fish habitats.
He also noted that New Jersey and New York are at the center of the debate because waters off the two states’ coasts are slated to be home to a staggering 16 gigawatts of wind farms by 2035.
Hundreds of community members here along the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk who showed up & are speaking out for the #SaveTheWhales Rally. Mayor @PaulKanitra is here along, along with local officials and members of congress. Massive turnout. pic.twitter.com/NWsQPiOfJy
— Ali Reid (@alireidtv) February 19, 2023
“Without serious, aggressive, and independent analysis on the impact of these projects, they must be paused,” Smith continued. “We want the truth. We demand to be heard and our deep concerns addressed—not trivialized, mocked, or dismissed. The people of New Jersey deserve better.”
In addition to the New Jersey Republican, organizers and environmentalists Trisha DeVoe and Leslie Mangold; Seaside Park, New Jersey, Mayor John Peterson Jr.; and Clean Ocean Action Executive Director Cindy Zipf also spoke at the rally on Sunday.
Hundreds of locals attended the rally, according to Ali Reid, a reporter for local outlet News 12.
Rally attendees called for leaders to “defund green energy” and “save the whales.”
Top image video screencap via Ali Reid/Twitter.
Read rest at Fox News
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