Suspend Offshore Wind Development After Yet Another Whale Death, Say NJ Politicians
Following yet another dead whale washing ashore along the Jersey Shore Friday morning, more politicians in the Garden State are calling for offshore wind development projects to be suspended.
- Friday morning, a 20-foot-long whale was found in Brigantine
- Two whales washed ashore in Atlantic City over the past month, one this past weekend
- A female sperm whale was found on a beach in Queens, NY, on December 12th
- A juvenile humpback whale was located on a beach in Strathmere around December 10th
- A humpback whale washed up in Amagansett, NY, on December 6th
- An infant sperm whale was found in Keansburg on December 5th
Congressman Jeff Van Drew
In a statement Friday morning, Van Drew demanded that all offshore wind activity in the state of New Jersey end.
Since offshore wind projects were being proposed by Governor Murphy to be built off the coast of New Jersey, I have been adamantly opposed to any activity moving forward until research disclosed the impacts these projects would have on our environment and the impacts on the fishing industry. Ocean life is being put at risk as our Governor and President force through their Green New Deal policies, without giving full consideration to their real-world impacts. We have seen a complete lack of transparency from New Jersey's leaders, as well as D.C. politicians who are ramming through these projects in order to push their climate agenda.
Van Drew says he will be calling for congressional investigations into the matter.
State Senator Vince Polistina
Polistina, who represents South Jersey, also released a statement Friday morning, calling for similar action.
We should suspend all work related to offshore wind development until we can determine the cause of death of these whales, some of which are endangered. The work related to offshore wind projects is the primary difference in our waters, and it’s hard to believe that the death of six whales on our beaches is just a coincidence.
Wind farms to blame?
Advocacy groups believe they know why the region has seen numerous whale deaths recently: offshore wind energy infrastructure.
Earlier this month, ocean advocacy organizations sent a letter to President Joe Biden, demanding an immediate investigation into the recent deaths and calling for a pause on all ongoing wind-energy activity offshore.
Cindy Zipf, executive director of Long Branch-based Clean Ocean Action said,
Never have we ever heard of six whales washing up within 33 days. We don't know how many whales may have died offshore. The only thing different this year than in past years is the enormous amount of offshore pre-construction and development activities occurring by the offshore wind industry.
Murphy does not comment
Gov. Murphy called the recent whale deaths "tragic" and said a probe was underway to find the cause, according to NJ.com, however, his office deferred comment Friday to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which did not respond to the publication.
With prior reporting from Townsquare Media's Dino Flammia.