Advocates express concern as badly decomposed dolphin washes up in Long Branch

A local environmental group is once again calling for a pause on offshore industrialization.

Jim Murdoch

May 20, 2024, 10:03 AM

Updated 24 days ago


Another dead dolphin washed up on a New Jersey beach this weekend. This time it happened in Long Branch.
A local environmental group is once again calling for a pause on offshore industrialization until independent studies on the environmental effects can be done.
Through mid-May, there have been more than two dozen dolphins and porpoises found dead near or on New Jersey's beaches this year, according to officials.
Paul Marzolla was surf fishing early Sunday morning when he found the marine mammal dead and took a few photos. Part of the animal's intestines can be seen wrapped around its tail fin.
"If we get to the point where it's like, ‘Oh, there's another dolphin,’ or, ‘There's another whale,’ that just cannot happen. We can't get to that point," said Cindy Zipf, of Clean Ocean Action.
The death happened just steps away from the headquarters of Clean Ocean Action, an advocacy group based in Long Branch.
"We want an investigation. We want to understand what is happening to marine life. It just seems to be out of step with history," she said.
As of last week, 20 dolphins, six porpoises and one whale have washed up dead at the shore this year.
Clean Ocean Action wrote to the Biden Administration in February calling for a pause of offshore activity related to wind industrialization until independent studies are done. The organization requested a pilot scale project and a cost-benefit analysis be completed. They tell News 12 they are not against offshore wind but want to see more research.
State leaders and environmentalists say they have not found a link between the deaths and offshore wind, but it remains one of the theories from those against offshore wind energy.
Biden responded in April with his own letter to Clean Ocean Action, and while it did not address the request, it did list some steps the administration is taking to further its clean energy agenda.
Zipf says without a study, there's no way to tell why the animals keep dying.
"Every stranding is certainly a concern. Some is natural, but we are concerned about the scope and scale of the many mammals that are washing up whales and dolphins," said Zipf.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells News 12 that it would be impossible to get an accurate cause of death because the dolphin was so decomposed.

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