12 NJ coastal mayors sign letter to halt offshore wind activity after 8th whale found dead at Lido Beach
Twelve New Jersey coastal mayors signed a letter calling for immediate stoppage of all offshore wind farm research after another whale was found dead Monday morning.
The whale washed up on Long Island at Lido Beach around 20 miles northeast of Sandy Hook. It's now the eighth time a whale has been found dead in the region.
The mayors of North Wildwood, Brigantine, Deal, Stone Harbor, Long Beach Township, Wildwood Crest, Spring Lake, Linwood, Margate, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head have requested the immediate moratorium on offshore wind activity until more investigations are held. The letter was sent to members of Congress from New Jersey.
RELATED: How did the whale that washed ashore Lido Beach die? Marine biologists will perform necropsy today
"While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these projects may already be having on our environment,” the letter reads. “We urge you to take action now to prevent future deaths from needlessly occurring on our shorelines."
Earlier this month, NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said there was no evidence offshore wind work had anything to do with the deaths of the whales. They cited research done in 176 whale deaths since 2016, saying around 40% of them were from human interaction - entanglement in fishing lines or vessel strikes. No cases revealed any link to whale strandings and offshore wind activities.
The environmental group Clean Ocean Action called that statement from NOAA defensive and ungrounded. Clean Ocean Action says there is no evidence or completed investigation and says it was inappropriate for the feds to make such a definitive determination.
News 12 has received a response from Congressman Chris Smith who wants an immediate stoppage of offshore wind farm work.
“The federal government has a responsibility to ensure its environmental viability and any projects that may affect not only whales, but the broader marine ecosystem and the economy it sustains must be comprehensively reviewed before allowed to proceed,” Smith said.