Climate change, not wind power causing deaths of whales at Jersey Shore, activists and lawmakers say

Monday’s event was meant to highlight a bill to ban offshore drilling for oil.

Matt Trapani

Apr 24, 2023, 9:47 PM

Updated 456 days ago

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Some environmental advocates and Democratic lawmakers say that there is no evidence connecting offshore wind development to the deaths of whales and dolphins off the coast of New Jersey. They are instead pointing to climate change.
The group gathered in Long Branch on Monday to dispel what they say is “disinformation” as well as to push to keep offshore drilling away from the Atlantic Coast.
“We have a crisis of literally global proportions,” Sen. Cory Booker said.
Monday’s event was meant to highlight a bill to ban offshore drilling for oil.
“Everywhere we have drilled in America, we have spilled,” Booker said.
The group says that marine mammal mortality has been increasing since 2016.
“Vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglements and plastics. These are the major causes of deaths,” said Rep. Frank Pallone.
The group says that they are happy to see that more and more people are becoming concerned about the rising number of deaths among marine life.
“Welcome to the work that has been going on. The conversation today has been something that's been going on for decades,” said Ed Potosnak, of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
With many of the deaths being caused by vessel strikes, the group says that one solution would be to get the massive container ships passing off the coast to slow down.
“The data shows that if you’re going 10 knots, the damage to a marine mammal is escapable – meaning it’s not a deathly blow,” Potosnak says.
“You don't have to make a choice between a robust economy and a thriving ocean,” said Pallone. “We have to protect the Atlantic because the Jersey Shore communities depend on it.”
The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act would permanently ban offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. It has bipartisan support.


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