Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Ed Durr renewed their call for Governor Murphy to pause offshore wind farm surveys to investigate if the work is responsible for dozens of whale and dolphin deaths. They also questioned why several recently announced projects to study marine life in the area are being conducted without a pause in the survey work.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Sen. Ed Durr renewed their call for Governor Murphy to pause offshore wind farm surveys to investigate if the work is responsible for dozens of whale and dolphin deaths. (NJ.com)
“While I am happy to see that the Board of Public Utilities will start studying the diversity of marine life around the proposed wind farms, we continue to believe Governor Murphy should pause the survey work related to wind farm development,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “It’s likely they won’t get an accurate picture of the marine life in the area while wind developers are disturbing our coastal waters with sonar blasts, drilling, and other activities. They should have started the marine life surveys before the wind farm work began to get an accurate baseline. A pause of offshore wind preparations would provide ample time for researchers to do their job and deliver accurate results from their studies.”
Since December 2022, there have been nearly 40 whales, dolphins, and porpoises that have died along the New Jersey coast, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. A shark with a transponder was pinged just outside of Atlantic City earlier this week.
The BPU announced the funding of several projects to better understand marine life in the area around the wind farm, but will not pause the wind farm survey work as a number of Republican legislators and concerned groups have requested.
“Governor Murphy continues to show his true colors by stubbornly refusing to pause offshore wind surveys that could be linked to the deaths of an unthinkable number of whales and dolphins,” said Durr (R-3). “With any scientific study, researchers need a controlled environment to gather data, conduct an analysis, and draw conclusions. I suspect that researchers may have a difficult time studying the impact of the offshore wind farms on marine life due to Governor Murphy’s refusal to temporarily pause the survey work. Once again, a temporary moratorium on offshore wind surveying is a small price to pay to be good stewards of the ocean environment.”
O’Scanlon and Durr’s resolution, SR-120, urges the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management within the U.S. Department of Interior to halt offshore wind development studies.
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