As another dolphin is found stranded on a New Jersey beach the state Department of Environmental Protection said will conduct a study to make sure offshore wind energy projects are developed in an ecologically responsible manner.

The DEP announced Monday it will spend $3.7 million for "scientific research projects being undertaken to ensure ecologically responsible development of offshore wind energy," according to a statement from DEP commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Christine Guhl-Sadovy.

"These projects continue to advance our collection of important baseline scientific information that is necessary to ensure the responsible development and operation of offshore wind facilities," LaTourette said.

Guhl-Sadovy said the projects will protect both the interests of ratepayers and marine ecosystems.

The project includes:

  • An extended seasonal aerial survey of whales off the coast of North Jersey. Trained observers will identify and record data about whale species.
  • Nearly $1 million for Rutgers to evaluate the movements of humpback whales and fin whales in and around New Jersey's offshore wind lease areas
  • The American Bird Conservancy has been awarded $1.3 million to expand an existing regional network to track the progress of radio-tagged birds and bats
  • $1.03 million to evaluate baseline preconstruction migration routes of sea turtles

The projects do not include what critics of energy projects have requested: a study of the impact of some of the prep work such as use of sonar on marine life.

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Humpback whale necropsy on Aug. 13, 2023. (Michael McKenna via MMSC)
Humpback whale necropsy on Aug. 13, 2023. (Michael McKenna via MMSC)

Another dead dolphin in Atlantic City

The second dolphin to be found on an Atlantic City beach in March was found Sunday morning

An edited video posted by the website Downbeach Buzz shows a dolphin with a red ribbon tied around its rear from its tail lying on the beach surrounded with several firefighters present and people with cameras.  A first responder from the Atlantic City Fire Department covered the front of the dolphin with a towel.

Atlantic City spokesman Andrew Kramer said their Office of Emergency Management was notified of a stranded dolphin on the beach at Newton Place around 8:15 a.m.

A staff member from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center asked for the crowd to stop taking pictures and give them space to work. A person responded that they were awaiting the arrival of Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small and Ventnor Mayor Lance Landgraf.

According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center website, the dolphin was an adult female bottlenose dolphin. It was dead before MMSC staff arrived and was taken to the New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy.

It was the second dolphin in March to wash up on an Atlantic City beach this month and the eighth this year, according to the MMSC.

Battleship New Jersey is towed for maintenance

The USS New Jersey left its dock in Camden on its way to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for extensive maintenance work on March 21, 2024. The vessel, guided by tugboats, will first head to the Paulsboro Marine Terminal, where it will be balanced to prepare for dry docking.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

Must-visit NJ shops with homemade chocolate

There are lots of options in New Jersey for delicious, homemade chocolate treats for any season, holiday or occasion. Many have been around for decades.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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