Monmouth County officials call for pause on offshore wind development due to marine mammal deaths
More calls were made on Wednesday morning to pause all offshore wind activity off New Jersey's beaches until more studies can be done. The Monmouth County commissioners, along with Rep. Chris Smith and local lawmakers, demanded the moratorium and independent studies at a briefing in Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch.
Tom Arnone, Monmouth County commissioner director, demanded an immediate pause to offshore wind activity following the deaths of two more dolphins this weekend - one in Cape May County and another in Sea Bright.
At least 24 dolphins have died since December on New Jersey beaches. Arnone was joined by Smith - both concerned about what will happen in a few weeks when summer tourism season begins.
"I think the people of New Jersey deserve better than just saying stop spreading misinformation. There's no misinformation here," said Smith. "New Jersey is 6% of the East Coast - 42% of the whale deaths have happened on our shores."
A report issued on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries concluded the proposed Ocean Wind 1 offshore energy project is likely to adversely affect but is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or destroy critical habitat.