Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Ed Durr have introduced a resolution urging the state and federal governments to place an immediate moratorium on all sonar testing and wind turbine mapping in response to the surge of unexplained marine wildlife deaths along the coast of New Jersey.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Sen. Ed Durr introduced a resolution that urges the state and federal governments to place an immediate moratorium on all sonar testing and wind turbine mapping in response to the surge of unexplained marine wildlife deaths along the coast of New Jersey. (Pixabay)
“After months of whales and dolphins washing up on our beaches, enough is enough. We cannot ignore the surge in marine life deaths that has occurred while offshore wind project preparation activities have been conducted along the coast,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “While the Governor has stated that ‘there’s no evidence these activities are causing these whale and dolphin deaths’, he omits that he, and we, simply have no idea what’s causing these tragic deaths. We very well might find evidence that offshore wind activities are contributing to this tragedy. Until we know, we should err on the side of caution. Our resolution calls on Governor Murphy and the federal government to place a moratorium on these projects until scientific studies can be conducted to determine the impact offshore wind activities are having on marine wildlife. These mammals are federally protected and as legislators it is our duty to step up and protect our waters.”
Since December 2022, there have been nearly 40 whales, dolphins, and porpoises that have died along the New Jersey coast, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
“It is unfortunate that our Democrat colleagues refuse to take these deaths seriously and continue to push forward with Governor Murphy’s agenda without any concern for the environment,” O’Scanlon added. “There is no excuse for refusing to work with Republicans and the growing chorus of activists who are demanding answers to this very serious problem.”
Previous efforts by Senate Republicans to place a moratorium on offshore wind projects were blocked by Senate Democrats.
“Trenton Democrats and the Murphy administration have ridiculed Republicans and concerned residents who want a moratorium to investigate the deaths of whales and dolphins as conspiracy theorists,” said Durr (R-3). “It’s telling that they are completely unwilling to investigate if the dozens of deaths and the wind farm surveys are more than just a coincidence. They would rather not know what’s killing the whales than risk putting their precious wind farms and Governor Murphy’s extreme green energy agenda at risk.”
O’Scanlon and Durr’s resolution, SR-120, urges the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management within the U.S. Department of Interior to halt offshore wind development studies.
Residents, businesses, environmental groups, and some lawmakers have gathered in protest recently to express their concern about the offshore wind development studies while calling on the Murphy administration to pause all work related to the project.
“The tragic loss of marine wildlife that has occurred along our coast is unsettling,” Durr added. “A temporary moratorium on offshore wind surveying is a small price to pay to be good stewards of the ocean environment.”