Pause Off Shore Wind Projects To Ensure Whale Safety

Photo courtesy Mayor Paul Kanitra

  What is killing the whales? There have been at least nine whale deaths along the Jersey shore recently and local politicians and environmentalists feel their deaths are tied to offshore wind projects.

  It does seem extremely odd that over the past several months that there have been repeated instances of dead whales washing up on New Jersey’s shoreline in close proximity of nearby offshore wind development. It is also happening at some New York beaches as well. Could it be the cause or just some strange coincidence?  

  There is a proposal by Congressman Chris Smith backed up by a dozen shore area mayors and some environmental groups to put a pause to such activities until we learn more.

  Paul Kanitra, the mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, is among the mayors who have environmental concerns about the mysterious string of whale deaths that has left officials and the public speechless.

  On average, the Jersey Shore coast and in the tri-state area, there are one, two, or possibly three whale deaths a year but since the offshore wind energy development started conducting sonar testing in December, nine whale deaths occurred.

 “That seems a lot more than a coincidence to us,” Kanitra said in an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

  The Biden administration and federal scientists are blaming the deaths on blunt trauma, related to boat strikes but whales use echo sonar location to navigate and it isn’t a stretch to have concerns about the sonar use messing with that ability which might actually be causing the boat strikes.

  As Mayor Kanitra and some environmentalists have said, “it’s too much to be a coincidence.”

  Given the usual speed of government, this call for action by Congressman Smith seems right on the mark and prudent in order to act on the side of caution until a full scientific review can be made as to whether there is a connection to offshore wind projects and the deaths of the whales.

  It is important get to the truth and as was said constantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to follow the science, so it seems like a smart idea to take a pause for the moment while a scientific based probe into their deaths takes place. Is the sonar work actually the cause? Let’s find out.

  Doing so may ultimately save whales and other aspects of the environment. Smith’s request to suspend all work on such projects noted a time factor of “until such time that ecological safety can be assured.” I think we can afford to wait until this is done.

  Likewise, it is gratifying to see our lawmakers in Trenton address another issue that involves animals. There is legislation addressing animals who are suffering on factory farms.

  Mother pigs are artificially impregnated and confined to cages – known as gestation crates – that nearly immobilize them. Baby calves used in the veal industry are locked in similar cages, called veal crates. These crates are so small that the animals can’t even turn around.

  New Jersey could make history in a positive manner though the passage of legislation that would help these abused animals by passing Senate bill S-1298 and Assembly bill A-1970.

  These bills that deserve our support, would ban the extreme confinement of mother pigs and baby calves in the Garden State.

Bob Vosseller
Assistant News Editor