The statement comes just days before a Congressman holds a public hearing.
The State Department of Environmental Protection has released z statement about the recent whale deaths in the waters off the Jersey Shore and Long Island.
The State DEP says off shore wind energy work is not responsible for a recent spate of whale deaths because that actual construction hasn’t started. “As of March 2023, no offshore wind-related construction activities have taken place in waters off the New Jersey coast, and DEP is aware of no credible evidence that offshore wind-related survey activities could cause whale mortality.”
The survey activities that concern local whale activists include using sonar to map the ocean floor.
Many Jersey Shore Mayors and politicians have come out and asked for a moratorium on wind energy projects until a source of these whale deaths can be identified. However, the source of death has been found for many of the whales: boat strikes. In other words hit by big shipping container boats. The most recent whale to wash up on the Jersey Shore showed signs of being hit by a boat and also signs of previous entanglement in fishing gear. Congressman Jeff Van Drew of the 2nd district has a hearing planned on the effects of wind energy in Wildwood Thursday afternoon.
In their statement, the DEP said that they are also monitoring warming ocean waters which create new habitat for the whale’s favorite food source, small fish named Menhaden. The statement says they are concerned that the whales follow the fish into their new habitat where they’re coming into contact with human activity.
You can find the complete statement HERE.