The death of five bald eagles in Sussex County is rightly seen as a tragedy to be investigated and corrected.
We ought to view wildlife mortality from wind turbines in the same way.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that a proposed 60 wind turbine development in Somerset County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore could kill up to 43 bald eagles a year. The developer argued that the deaths would be limited to a still appalling 15 to 18 eagles a year. Happily, the project was abandoned a year ago.
Meanwhile, wind turbines in western states kill dozens of eagles and hundreds of hawks every year, with more development coming online. Closer to home, the single University of Delaware wind turbine in Lewes killed at least two ospreys and 31 bats in one year alone – a toll that these slow-reproducing species could not sustain if the installation were expanded to industrial scale.
Thanks in part to advocacy by Delaware Nature Society and Sierra Club, Delaware law requires electric companies to buy increasing amounts of power from “renewable” sources, resulting in new wind power development in Pennsylvania and Maryland to satisfy the artificial Delaware demand.
While we are spared the sight of the turbines in Delaware, our law is putting eagles and other wildlife at risk.
Gregory A. Inskip
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