Offshore Killing Fields: Wind Industry ‘Saves Planet’ By Slaughtering Whales, Dolphins & More

From STOP THESE THINGS

The US government granted the dolphins a license to kill whales, porpoises and dolphins and it’s doing so at an astonishing rate.

Dozens of whale carcasses have washed-up along the Atlantic coast in the last few months, joining dozens of porpoises and dolphins that met the same fate.

More than 500,000 Americans have united in a concerted attempt to shutdown this subsidy-soaked industry – an industry apparently determined to wipe out all manner of marine mammals, including the last members of endangered whale species.  And which does so with absolute impunity, thanks to the ‘Incidental Harassment Authorization’. Literally a licence to kill an unlimited number of whales, porpoises and dolphins during the construction and operation of offshore wind farms.

The carcasses are washing up with such frequency that the wind industry is now able to claim, with some justification, that it’s responsible for an uptick in ecotourism, albeit that the charismatic megafauna in question is well and truly dead. Not all (dead) whale watchers are keen on the experience, however. Indeed, Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, reckons – even if the government has given it green light – there is no justification for the wanton slaughter.

Four whales die in 4 days: Wind farms creating ‘death zone’ at sea says ex-Greenpeace boss
New York Post
Josh Miller and Franklin Raff
8 May 2023

Drilling foundations for offshore wind turbines and sound pulses used to prepare for the 900-foot towers has created a “death zone” for whales, according to former Greenpeace chief, Patrick Moore.

Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace and its ex-president in Canada, believes the acoustic systems used by vessels surveying the ocean floor harm the marine mammals’ sense of hearing – risking their crucial ability to navigate, and leading to more dead whales washing up onshore.

His intervention comes after four minke whale corpses were discovered between Thursday and Sunday in New York and New England, one of them on Friday in Moriches Bay, close to Westhampton, Long Island.

The four-day run of death began in Eastham, on Cape Cod, Mass., on Thursday, with a second minke found at York, Maine, on Friday, and the final corpse at Gloucester, Mass. on Sunday.

At least 36 “large” whales have washed up along the East Coast since Dec. 1, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It tracks the deaths of “large” species in the Atlantic including minke, humpback, bowhead, fin, sei, sperm and blue North Atlantic right whales.

The toll of whale deaths includes 16 humpbacks thus far in 2023, seven of them found along the New Jersey shore.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event” among humpbacks in January 2016.

This year’s mortalities are on pace to shatter 2017’s tally of 34, federal data shows.

The overall scale of whale deaths could be even worse: NOAA does not have a public tracker for toothed whales, such as narwhals and beluga whales.

Republican lawmakers in New Jersey said last week they wanted a 60-day moratorium on offshore wind farm development to investigate any possible link to the rash of carcasses.

Massive offshore wind turbines up to 900-feet tall have been given the go-ahead off both New York and New Jersey, as part of moves to increase renewable energy production.

In New York, cable-laying for the South Fork Wind Farm, about 35 miles east of Montauk Point began in March while in New Jersey, large areas off the Jersey Shore are zoned for turbines.

Moore voiced support for the Republicans’ concern, saying that survey work – which uses acoustic pulses to scan the seabed ahead of drilling for the turbines – is risky for whales.

“The effect of the high-intensity acoustic pulses is unknown, and the excavations are muddying waters for what will be years on end,” Moore said. “It is not reasonable to say there is no possibility of a causal relationship.”

Whales and other endangered species impacted by the acoustic pulses could be guided to their demise, with possible strandings in shallow water, striking vessels or getting entangled in fishing gear, Moore said.

“They tend to migrate south in the winter and north in the summer on certain pathways, just like birds,” he continued. “And it in this case, they appear to be swimming back into a death zone.”

Offshore wind vessels typically use high-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys during siting efforts, utilizing a “suite of active sound sources” to obtain images of the seafloor and other geophysical features.

Two offshore wind farms are currently operating in US waters. Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island, which has five turbines, has been online since late 2016. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, which has two turbines off Virginia Beach, has been fully operational since fall 2020.

New Jersey state Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Boonton, noted that the feds started tracking the spate of dead humpbacks along the East Coast since 2016 – the same year Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm went operational.

“There’s too much of a coincidence here to ignore, and we continue to rapidly push forward,” Bucco told The Post.
“This activity off our coast is only going to dramatically increase as they begin pile-driving and installing these wind turbines. So if this is having an effect on our marine mammals now, it could be catastrophic when that work begins.”

Greenpeace has long distanced itself from Moore, accusing the 75-year-old Canadian of lobbying for polluters and exaggerating his role. It said in 2010: “Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace.”

Moore insists Greenpeace only disavowed him when he came out in favor of nuclear energy in a Washington Post op-ed in April 2006.

“Greenpeace has betrayed the mission of its founders,” Moore said. “They are protecting [windmills] instead of wild whales.”
New York Post

Conservative watchdogs highlight ‘alarming’ surge in whale deaths as wind farms grow off NY, NJ coasts
New York Post
Josh Christenson
23 April 2023

Conservative watchdog groups ran a guerrilla-style ad campaign on the Jersey Shore for Earth Day, drawing attention to a surge in whale deaths amid the growth of offshore wind farms.

Beachgoers in Atlantic City on Saturday looked on as a single-propeller plane carried a message waving from a banner — “SAVE-WHALES-STOP-WINDMILLS.ORG” — and drivers heading out of town saw a billboard with the same message and a picture of a dead whale washed ashore.

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the Heartland Institute sponsored the ads to highlight the potential threat that wind turbine development poses to whales, dolphins and other aquatic life.

The campaign comes after a ProPublica report last week found that federal regulators in the Biden administration have downplayed environmental risks to greenlight “an unprecedented expansion for offshore wind” projects — including tax incentives through the president’s Inflation Reduction Act for renewable energy developers.

Steve Milloy, a senior fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute who sits on Heartland’s board of directors, told The Post that the ad campaign reveals how “Orwellian” government action on the environment has become.

“As the Biden administration is literally permitting the offshore wind industry to kill endangered whales under the guise of ‘saving the planet,’ Earth Day has gone 180 degrees from where it started and has become truly Orwellian,” Milloy said.

“It’s gone from ‘Save the Whales’ to ‘Kill the Whales.’ And the green groups that have promoted Earth Day for 53 years are totally okay with this agenda.”

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow president Craig Rucker said the push to build the wind farms comes “despite growing evidence that whales are being impacted by the preliminary sonar blasting being conducted to site windmills, as well as scores of the marine mammals washing up dead on beaches.”

“’Damn the whales, full speed ahead’ seems to be the official policy of the Biden administration when it comes to the construction of offshore wind,” Rucker said in a statement. “The White House seems to remain unfazed and fixated on implementing its reckless ‘net zero’ energy agenda.”

“Let’s hope some court steps in to, at a minimum, place an injunction against any continued offshore wind energy development until proper environmental studies can be conducted,” he added.

The noise produced from building the farms, especially pile-driving the turbines into the ocean floor, has been shown to affect aquatic life, according to federal regulators, who implemented a “soft start” approach before construction to drive away species.

The ProPublica report states that in the next 10 years, more than 3,000 turbines will be built and nearly 10,000 miles of cable will be laid on 2.4 million acres of the ocean managed by the federal government.

The construction would involve scores of ships traveling at high speeds and crisscrossing known whale habitats, increasing the chances of marine mammals being fatally struck.

Developers like Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, which has been approved to start wind farms off the coast of New York and New Jersey, receive special authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service to potentially injure or kill the whales as long as mitigation protocols and reporting procedures are followed.

Activists in recent months have noted an “alarming” uptick in dead whales floating onto beaches in the New York-New Jersey area, with at least nine recorded between last December and February.

The noise produced from building the farms, especially pile-driving the turbines into the ocean floor, has been shown to affect aquatic life, according to federal regulators, who implemented a “soft start” approach before construction to drive away species.

The ProPublica report states that in the next 10 years, more than 3,000 turbines will be built and nearly 10,000 miles of cable will be laid on 2.4 million acres of the ocean managed by the federal government.

The construction would involve scores of ships traveling at high speeds and crisscrossing known whale habitats, increasing the chances of marine mammals being fatally struck.

Developers like Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, which has been approved to start wind farms off the coast of New York and New Jersey, receive special authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service to potentially injure or kill the whales as long as mitigation protocols and reporting procedures are followed.

Activists in recent months have noted an “alarming” uptick in dead whales floating onto beaches in the New York-New Jersey area, with at least nine recorded between last December and February.

Scientists at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have also found no evidence that wind energy production is linked to whale deaths.

However, the NOAA has admitted that some whales can be accidentally struck and killed by vessels — such as Luna, a 41-foot-long, 29,000-pound humpback whale that washed up on a Long Island beach in February.
New York Post

Feds admit offshore wind can kill whales!
CFACT
David Wojick
27 April 2023

Despite public proclamations of innocence, it turns out BOEM and NOAA clearly acknowledge the deadly threat of offshore wind development to marine mammals. Not surprisingly they do it in documents that are subject to judicial review, lest they be caught fibbing.

Of course these admissions are well hidden, buried in the depths of thousand page documents, but they are there to be found. These are the Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEIS) that precede each offshore wind project. They are jointly prepared by BOEM and NOAA.

The key is that the overall project EIS includes the EIS for NOAA’s harassment authorizations for the construction of that project. In fact you can find this language by searching the DEIS for the word “harassment”. I am told that this is standard language which varies little from project to project.

The standard language says just what we have been saying! Harassment is likely to lead to dangerous behavior, including increased likelihood of deadly ship strikes and entanglements. It also says, as we have, that having multiple projects increases these risks.

Here is a good example of admitting that harassment is can cause harm. I could not have said it better.

“It is possible that pile driving could displace animals into areas with lower habitat quality or higher risk of vessel collision or fisheries interaction. Multiple construction activities within the same calendar year could potentially affect migration, foraging, calving, and individual fitness. The magnitude of impacts would depend upon the locations, duration, and timing of concurrent construction. Such impacts could be long term, of high intensity, and of high exposure level. Generally, the more frequently an individual’s normal behaviors are disrupted or the longer the duration of the disruption, the greater the potential for biologically significant consequences to individual fitness. The potential for biologically significant effects is expected to increase with the number of pile-driving events to which an individual is exposed.”

Empire Wind DEIS v.1, Page 3.15-14, PDF page 372

This warning is about risks created by pile driving but all forms of acoustic harassment fit this description. NOAA harassment authorizations are based on the estimated number of critters that will be exposed to unsafe sound levels. The source of the dangerous sounds is irrelevant. What matters most is the volume. Sound is a pressure wave; the louder the sound the greater the physical pressure on the hearing system. Pain and physical damage are possible.

In fact the infamous sonar surveying sounds, implicated in the whale deaths to date, can be much louder that the incredibly loud pile driving. Driving the enormous piles for the proposed wind projects is estimated to create sounds around 190 decibels, which is painfully loud in humans.

But some sonar equipment deliberately emits sounds over 200 decibels. Decibels is a log scale so this is not just 5% greater than 190; it is much greater.

Thus it makes no sense that NOAA claims sonar surveys have no significant impact and so do not fall under NEPA, while pile driving does. This is especially true when, as just happened, a dozen different projects are given simultaneous authorization to acoustically harass large numbers of whales.

What is important is that NOAA and a BOEM are clearly stating that the acoustic threats we have been warning about and suspecting are real. The telling correlations between sonar blasting and increased whale deaths cannot be waived away.

Correlation is not causation, but correlation between cause and predicted effect is very strong evidence that the cause is effective. NOAA and BOEM’s repeated insistence that there is no evidence offshore wind development is killing whales is clearly contradicted by their own Environmental Impact Statements.

Harassment kills.
CFACT

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