Two weeks after urging top Biden Administration officials to immediately suspend all offshore wind projects over growing concerns about recent whale deaths, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today renewed his call for a moratorium after the ninth dead whale in two months washed ashore in Manasquan on Monday:
“The Biden Administration and Governor Murphy continue to ignore the resounding calls for an investigation to address the historic surge of dead whales while offshore wind development ramps up off our beaches.
“Local elected officials, environmental leaders and commercial and recreational fishermen are among the strong coalition who continue to raise concerns about the unprecedented spike in whale deaths and the broader impact of offshore wind projects on the marine environment.
“As I stated in my January 30th letters to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the lack of conclusive evidence disproving the link between offshore wind development and whale deaths is sufficient to require a pause until assurances can be made to the public that the environmental and maritime safety of these projects has been properly reviewed.
“How many more whales have to die before there is a serious and thorough investigation into the cause of these deaths?”
Smith has been a longtime advocate for marine wildlife and the broader environmental and economic viability of the Jersey Shore. He has consistently opposed offshore drilling and coauthored legislation in 2019 to ban seismic airgun testing to protect highly endangered North Atlantic right whales and other marine life in the Atlantic Ocean.
Covid pandemic opens waters off NJ to more whales as fishing industry cuts back. Pandemic ends and boats rush back to the ocean where a lot more whales now exist. Boats collide with whales. Whales die and wash ashore, more than in the past. A certain political party blames it on off-shore windmills without evidence.
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