Proposed wind farm off the New Jersey coast concerns local fisherman

A proposal to build a wind farm off the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey is concerning some local fisheries, which say that the farm could hurt their livelihood.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held its first of four public meeting in Long Branch Monday night to education the public on what environmental impacts a wind farm in the ocean could have.

Local fisherman Arthur Osche says that the proposed building site for the farm is right where he usually fishes for scallops. Scallops make up about 40 percent of his fishery business.

"My boat typically does about $3 million a year, so it would be like $1.2 million," he says.

Osche says that although he does support renewable energy sources, he does not want to see them build where he and other fisheries fish.

The area being considered is more than 81 acres located 16 nautical miles off the Jersey Shore coast at Sandy Hook.

The plan is still in the environmental assessment phase, as experts still need to see how the wind farm would impact marine life, vessel traffic and other variables.

Environmental advocate Toni Granato of the New Jersey Sierra Club says that she support new energy sources and jobs rather than relying on fossil fuels.

"Power plants are really ugly smoke stacks in New Jersey and New York's viewshed already. We want to close down these ugly power plants that are increasing greenhouse emissions and causing air quality problems immediately," she says.

Public comment on the proposal is open through July 6. After that period, government regulators will either finalize or update its environmental findings and release a proposal sale notice on Aug. 5.

A meeting detailing the auction process will be held in Manhattan next Wednesday.

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