At least 10 dead whales have been discovered in New Jersey and New York, and many in the area now blame offshore wind projects for their deaths.
Hundreds of area residents demonstrated in a seaside New Jersey town last weekend and demanded a moratorium on the offshore clean energy developments. They want the efforts to cease until the cause for the recent rise in whale deaths is determined.
The Point Pleasant Beach rally highlighted locals’ concerns over the deaths and demanded that officials “defund green energy.” The demonstration was attended by several lawmakers, environmentalists, and local officials along with residents.
Besides the dead whales that washed up in New York and New Jersey, more were discovered recently in Maryland and Virginia.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) addressed the rally. He told the gathering that the whales “are sending us a tragic message” demanding answers for their demise. He noted that it will take “transparency and accountability” to find a solution.
'Whale lives matter' — Major NJ protest demands 'truth' on deaths https://t.co/Hhmljr65At
— New Jersey 101.5 (@nj1015) February 20, 2023
Smith pointed an accusing finger at Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and his goal of transforming New Jersey’s coast into a mecca for the offshore wind industry.
The representative further cautioned against rushing headlong into Murphy’s plan to facilitate the construction of hundreds or even thousands of wind turbines near the state’s shoreline. He called the situation ripe for “potentially serious — even catastrophic — damage to ecosystems.”
It was just last week when a 35-food humpback whale was found on a New Jersey beach in Smith’s district. Shortly afterward a 25-foot whale was discovered dead in Rockaway Beach in New York.
The area off the coasts of the two states is set for construction of an enormous 16 gigawatts of wind farms by 2035. But Smith insisted that more study is needed to determine if the noise and other factors associated with the massive projects are affecting the survival of marine life.
Many who attended the rally pushed leaders to “defund green energy” and to “save the whales.”
Proponents of the new construction are pushing back, however. American Clean Power accused “clean energy detractors” of trying to block a fresh source of energy for the nation and touted the “rigorous standards” followed by the industry.