Southern Shore Lawmakers Say Unprecedented Whale and Dolphin Deaths Warrant Suspension of Offshore Wind Projects

Southern Shore Lawmakers Say Unprecedented Whale and Dolphin Deaths Warrant Suspension of Offshore Wind Projects

Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen are intensifying calls to suspend offshore wind projects following an unprecedented number of dolphin deaths on a beach in Sea Isle City.

“It has been clear for a long time that Gov. Phil Murphy’s irrational green energy goals, facilitated by offshore wind projects, may pose significant risks to marine life. Since January, New Jersey has recorded an alarming number of whale deaths, and just earlier today, eight dolphins died after washing ashore in Sea Isle City. While the DEP claims there is no link between wind farms and damage to marine life, the logical thing to do would be to pause all offshore wind projects until we have more data,” said Testa (R-Cumberland). “In addition to the health and safety of marine life, our coastal communities and the thriving commercial fisheries rely upon a healthy and safe ocean and these projects pose an unnecessary risk to that. Until the proponents can assure our region that these projects are not playing a part in these incidents, it would be wise to suspend the work.”

Despite the incidents, Gov. Murphy continues his aggressive green energy goals, which calls for increasing offshore electric wind generation to 11,000 megawatts by 2040. To date, several offshore wind projects have been approved by the state Board of Public Utilities. One would add 98 wind turbines in Ocean and Cape May counties and others could produce as many as 350 along Atlantic County’s shoreline.

“Once again, Gov. Murphy is putting his radical green agenda before the safety of marine life and the jobs of fisherman and entrepreneurs,” added McClellan (R-Cape May). “Work related to offshore wind projects is the primary difference in our waters and an investigation should be done as to why whales and dolphins are dying in alarming numbers.”

Simonsen echoed calls for a moratorium, saying, “The only change in our waters recently has been the start of survey work for the construction of offshore wind farms—which seems like an awfully big coincidence to ignore. Our marine life must be safeguarded before any further progress can be made.”

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