Webinar Presented Facts, Status, and Potential Impacts from Plans to
Establish Large-scale Offshore Wind Farms off NY and NJ
Long Branch, NJ Today, Clean Ocean Action (COA) presented a “Lunch and Learn” webinar on offshore wind energy development in the New York and New Jersey Bight to hundreds of participants via Zoom and Facebook Live. The virtual event featured COA Policy Attorney Peter Blair, who discussed the development and status of offshore wind energy facilities in the region.
The webinar -which included a lengthy presentation by Peter Blair, three attendee polling questions, and a “Question and Answer” session – highlighted the importance that offshore wind energy development be done in the most environmentally sustainable manner as possible.
“New York and New Jersey have set ambitious offshore wind targets that will see 16,500 MW of offshore wind capacity built in the next fifteen years,” said Peter Blair, Policy Attorney for Clean Ocean Action, before the event. “The webinar was designed to inform the public about what that looks like, how the state plans to undergo this development, and what Clean Ocean Action is doing to ensure the development does not come at the expense of the marine and coastal environment,” Blair added.
Offshore wind has become a prominent option for states looking to address and design pathways to achieving climate and clean energy goals. This renewable energy source is beneficial to combating climate change by helping states transition away from harmful fossil fuel sources of energy. However, people and organizations have raised concerns about the impacts to the marine and coastal environment as well as to other ocean uses, such as commercial fishing, due to the speed and scale of the development of this new coastally-dependent industry.
Clean Ocean Action hoped the webinar would inform residents of New Jersey and New York about the known facts and potential impacts (including onshore) to provide people with the information to make informed decisions as the development of offshore wind energy moves ahead.
“Climate change acceleration and harm caused by burning and using fossil fuels is a fact,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action. “It is also true that if it were not for the ocean, the impacts would be much more severe. The ocean is absorbing a large portion of the carbon, but is paying a devastating price to its health. Ocean temperatures and sea level are rising, and the ocean is becoming more acidic. These impacts not only threaten life in the ocean, but all life on the planet. Offshore wind energy development is asking the ocean to do even more, and we need to ensure the facts are known, impacts are avoided and minimized, and good policy is established to protect our ocean,” Zipf added.
Read Clean Ocean Action’s position statement on offshore wind energy development: https://www.cleanoceanaction.org/fileadmin/editor_group2/General/COA-FinalOSWPolicyStatement.pdf. The webinar recording and Peter’s slide presentation is posted on www.cleanoceanaction.org.
NJ Governor Murphy recently announced plans for the construction of “The New Jersey Wind Port,” a 200-acre new port facility in Salem County, NJ. The port is expected to solidify New Jersey as a leader in the clean energy economy and will be a crucial component as New Jersey moves to meet its goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. COA applauds the choice to create a centralized development port in an already industrial area; by creating one centralized port, New Jersey is ensuring that the growth of the offshore wind industry does not come at the expense of our coastal environment by increasing industrialization in important environmental areas.
As “The New Jersey Wind Port” expands the NJ clean energy economy, it is an integral to understand offshore wind and the environmental factors that must be taken into consideration during any development.