SPRING LAKE — Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton and 11 other shore mayors called for an “immediate moratorium” on offshore wind energy development in a letter addressed to Washington D.C. officials last week.
The group requested the suspension until federal and state scientists can assure the public that ocean noise related to underwater seabed mapping, soil borings and other survey activities poses no threat to whales.
Their joint letter followed the death of another humpback whale to wash ashore the coasts of New York and New Jersey in Lido Beach, Nassau County, New York on Jan. 31. The Lido Beach whale is the eighth whale to appear on the beaches of New York and New Jersey in the past two months, following the last whale death in Atlantic City last month.
Mayor Naughton stated, “I don’t know with any certainty that the recent whale deaths were caused by the work preparing the water off our shores for wind turbines. What we do know is that there is an unusually large number of humpback and sperm whale deaths on our stretch of coastline and it is happening while the work to prepare the areas for wind turbines is ongoing. Is it coincidental, or is the recent work impacting the health, migration patterns and morbidity of these whales?”
Mayor Jennifer Naughton was joined in signing the declaration by five other mayors from Ocean and Monmouth counties: Joseph Mancini of Long Beach Township, Samuel Cohen of Deal, Paul M. Kanitra of Point Pleasant Beach, William W. Curtis of Bay Head and Lance White of Mantoloking.
“While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these [offshore wind] projects may already be having on our environment,” the 12 New Jersey mayors wrote in their letter.
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