BOEM conceded possible “increased risk” of death for marine mammals in N.J. wind farm impact statement

Whales and dolphins keep washing up dead along the Jersey Shore, Save Jerseyans, but the Democrat gaslighting continues.

“Currently, there is no evidence connecting #offshorewind with dead whales found on NJ shores,” the Sierra Club tweeted back in January. “#Climatechange is a threat & the climate crisis demands we develop renewable energy for a more equitable future.” Since then, The New York Times has gone as far as to blame online shopping (!) for the unexplained whale beachings happening up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Are the whales trying to return Amazon orders?

We don’t need to debate the science. In June 2022, the feds admitted that “Ocean Wind 1,” an Orsted project situated about 15 miles off the coast of Cape May County, could result in marine mammals being injured or killed; the revelations are contained in the government’s enviromental impact statement published by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

“Irreversible impacts on marine mammal populations could occur if one or more individuals of an ESA-listed species were injured or killed or if those populations experienced behavioral effects of high severity. With implementation of mitigation measures, developed in consultation with NMFS (e.g., timing windows, vessel speed restrictions, safety zones), the potential for an ESA listed species to experience high-severity behavioral effects or be injured or killed would be reduced or eliminated,” the statement insists. “No irreversible high-severity behavioral effects from Project activities are anticipated, as described in Section 3.15; however, due to the uncertainties from lack of information that are outlined in Appendix D, these effects are still possible. Irretrievable impacts could occur if individuals or populations grow more slowly as a result of displacement from the Project area.” [Emphasis added.]

Humpback whales were an ESA-listed species for decades until recently when the feds restricted their protective classification to only a few populations living in the Pacific.

But… the cited “Appendix D” includes a discussion of whale impacts and notes that there isn’t sufficient information to draw definitive conclusions: “[t]he behavioral effects of anthropogenic noises on marine mammals are increasingly being studied; however, behavioral responses vary depending on a variety of factors such as life stage, previous experience, and current behavior (e.g., feeding, nursing) and are therefore difficult to predict. In addition, the current NMFS disturbance criteria apply a single threshold for all marine mammals for impulsive noise sources and do not consider the overall duration, exposure, or frequency distribution of the sound to account for species-dependent hearing acuity. While elevated underwater sound could startle or displace animals, behavioral responses are not necessarily predictable from source levels alone.”).

Translation: the government claims to have little to no idea what impact sonar has on sea creatures. That’s obviously bullshit because we know for a fact that whales and other species can get themselves killed fleeing from sonar.

Elsewhere, in Appendix L, BOEM lowered the boom:

Increased risk of injury (TTS or PTS) to individuals due to underwater noise from pile-driving activities during construction
• Disturbance (behavioral effects) and acoustic masking due to underwater noise from pile driving, shipping and other vessel traffic, aircraft, geophysical surveys (HRG surveys and geotechnical drilling surveys), WTG operation, and dredging during construction and operations
Increased risk of individual injury and mortality due to vessel strikes
• Increased risk of individual injury and mortality associated with fisheries gear

[Emphasis added.]

So there you have it, Save Jerseyans.

They knew what we’re seeing today was possible. The blanket denials from Leftist environmental groups are obvious lies. The only remaining question is “why” state and local governments are refusing to suspend surveys until more information is gathered and digested.

What survey activity is currently afoot off the coast? Where? Conducted by whom? What precautions are being taken? There are a ton of questions no one in power wants to answer.

Of course we know the answer: the green energy industry doesn’t care how many whales they kill – or if their technology actually helps the planet – so long as they can make a buck.

Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8495 Articles
MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.