After another whale washed ashore on a New Jersey beach this morning, Senator Anthony M. Bucco asked how many more dead whales will it take for Governor Phil Murphy to do something.
After another whale washed ashore on a New Jersey beach this morning, Sen. Anthony M. Bucco asked how many more dead whales will it take for Gov. Phil Murphy to do something. (Doug Hood/Asbury Park Press)
“It seems like every day we have another report of a dead whale floating offshore or landing on one of our beaches,” said Bucco (R-25). “How many more dead whales does Governor Murphy need to see before he finally takes action? We need to investigate what’s causing these deaths to learn if it’s something we can easily fix.”
Some environmental groups, including Clean Ocean Action, have suggested that the surveys of the ocean floor that are being conducted for offshore wind farm development, which can include sonar mapping, drilling, and seismic testing, may disrupt the ability of whales to navigate safely, possibly leading to a spike of deadly groundings and vessel strikes since December.
Senate Republicans recently called on Governor Murphy to issue a temporary 30-day moratorium on the survey work, which he refused to do, to see if the trend in whale deaths changes when the work stops.
Democrats also blocked an amendment proposed by Sen. Joe Pennacchio on behalf of Senate Republicans during a recent Senate session to enact the proposed moratorium.
“You have to wonder if Governor Murphy is unwilling to accept a short moratorium because he’s hoping for the wind farm surveys to be completed by Memorial Day,” added Bucco. “It certainly won’t help our important shore tourism economy this summer if news reports continue of dead whales keep washing ashore when our beaches are packed with families on vacation.”
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