According to a Stockton University poll, in 2019, 80% of adult New Jersey residents supported offshore wind farms. Today, that number stands at 50%.

Data released on Thursday showed just four years ago, 77% of residents living in coastal areas of the Garden State supported offshore wind turbines. Now, only 33% favor such construction.

The main reasons for the opposition, according to Stockton's poll: potential harm to sea life and obstructed ocean views.

John Froonjian, director of the Hughes Center, said in a press release,

When the concept of wind farms moved from abstract policy considerations to preparing for actual construction, many residents said, ‘Not in my backyard, or at least not off my beach.’

In the new poll of nearly 600 New Jersey adults,

  • 72% still expressed concern about climate change with 51% saying it is very important for the state to combat it and 21% saying it is somewhat important. Only 1 in 4 said it was not very important (9%) or not important at all (17%) for the state to make those efforts.
  • A majority of 52% said renewable energy sources such as wind will improve the climate, with 9% saying it would worsen conditions and 28% saying it would have no effect.

When those polled were asked to rate the impact of wind farms, a total of 71% said turbines would affect ocean views a great deal (34%) or a little (37%), with 16% saying they would have no effect.

An anti-offshore wind farm sign installed on the Ocean City NJ Boardwalk - Photo: Chris Coleman
An anti-offshore wind farm sign installed on the Ocean City NJ Boardwalk - Photo: Chris Coleman

Also, 68% said wind turbines would affect marine life a great deal (44%) or a little (24%).

Respondents also thought shore tourism would be affected at least somewhat:

  • A great deal by 27%
  • A little by 28%
  • 37% saw no impact on tourism

“On every question, residents of shore communities were more negative about wind energy than people living elsewhere in New Jersey,” said Alyssa Maurice, Hughes Center research associate.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. Full results can be found on Stockton's website.

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