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At Least 30 NJ Mayors Want Offshore Wind Halted As Whale Deaths Mount

At Least 30 NJ Mayors Want Offshore Wind Halted As Whale Deaths Mount

dead whale coast

A coalition of 30 mayors representing communities along the New Jersey coast is calling on federal lawmakers and officials to implement a moratorium on offshore wind development in response to a spate of whale deaths.

The mayors, who collectively represent 359,168 residents and communities with beaches that welcome millions of visitors, requested that federal and state agencies conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact offshore wind construction and surveying equipment may have on marine wildlife. [emphasis, links added]

They argued such development should only continue if it is conclusively proven to not harm wildlife.

“The 30 undersigned mayors of New Jersey coastal communities stand united in their concern about the unprecedented number of whales that have washed ashore recently and call for an immediate moratorium on all offshore wind activities until an investigation is held by federal and state agencies that confidently determine these activities are not a contributing factor in the recent whale deaths,” they wrote in a letter Tuesday.

“While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these projects may already be having on our environment,” they continued. “We again urge you to take action now to prevent future deaths from needlessly occurring on our shorelines.”

The letter was addressed to New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone and Republican Reps. Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew, all of whom represent coastal districts.

It was also sent to Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez. Copies of the letter were additionally sent to President Biden and Gov. Phil Murphy.

While Van Drew and Smith have echoed calls for a moratorium and investigation into the cause of recent whale deaths, Pallone, Booker, and Menendez have largely been silent on the issue.

The letter comes amid an uptick in whale deaths in New Jersey and other states along the Atlantic coast including New York, Maryland, and Virginia.

At least 10 dead whales have beached in New Jersey and New York alone since December.

Last week, a 35-foot humpback whale washed up on a beach along the New Jersey coastline. Days later, a 25-foot whale was found dead in Rockaway Beach, New York.

And three whales were discovered dead in southeastern Virginia in close proximity to an offshore wind farm within the span of seven days.

“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.,” Smith said on Sunday.

“Questions and concerns raised by me and many others have gone unanswered concerning the unexplained deaths of at least 10 whales.”

The Republican congressman delivered the remarks at a rally held in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, in opposition to offshore wind development until the whales’ deaths were better understood. Hundreds of locals attended the rally to express their concerns.

Read rest at Fox News

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