Tag Archives: New Jersey

New Jersey residents sue over offshore wind farm leases

A group of New Jersey residents have sued the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to seek the reversal of its March decision to pursue the development of an area of ocean 30 miles off the coast of New Jersey for wind turbines. Community group Save Long Beach Island accused BOEM in Washington, D.C., federal court Monday of failing to prepare an in-depth report on potential environmental impacts of selecting 800,000 acres of the New York Bight to lease to developers that would install wind turbines. The group also says that the development could further imperil the North Atlantic right whale, one of the world’s most endangered large whale species. >click to read< 19:35

New Jersey: Bill Exempting Commercial Fishermen from State Unemployment Tax Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Testa and signed today by the Governor exempts commercial fishermen from a portion of the state unemployment tax. “Traditionally, New Jersey’s commercial fishermen have been on the hook for unemployment taxes, but they are not paid hourly wages and they have never been able to collect unemployment benefits,” Testa’s measure exempts commercial fisherman who are paid on the percentage of fish caught or a percentage of the selling price of those fish from the state unemployment law and its costly tax on earnings. >click to read< 09:47

No conflict here! New Jersey ocean enviro studies to be paid for by offshore wind farm developers

New Jersey’s offshore wind developers will help fund research on marine life, paying $10,000 per megawatt of capacity to help New Jersey scientists better understand the impacts of wind farms on the Atlantic Ocean’s ecosystem. The state’s Research Monitoring Initiative will direct a total of $26 million from the power companies toward the study of wind turbines’ impacts on ocean wildlife and commercial fisheries, according to state officials. >click to read< 16:24

Wind reps, Ocean City fishermen still far apart – “We’re going to be pushed out,,,

Last week, representatives from US Wind, Director of External Affairs Nancy Sopko, Director of Marine Affairs Ben Cooper and Fisheries Liaison Ron Larsen, briefed the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council on their progress in the area and their discussions with fishermen. “They’re trying to say they’re going to work with us said Roger Wooleyhan. When asked if the meeting signaled significant progress, Wooleyhan replied, “No, I don’t. We’re going to be pushed out and all these guys who are making a living are going to be put out. >click to read<  08:43

US Wind extends moratorium, Ocean City fishermen remain skeptical – Their fishery liaisons are working directly with local fisherman to ensure strong coordination between the industries. However, longtime Ocean City fisherman Jimmy Hahn wasn’t too thrilled by the supposed good news from US Wind. >click to read< 08:43

New Jersey: Offshore Wind Farm Project Generates Debate

An open house in Ocean City on Saturday to discuss the pros and cons of an offshore wind project, proposed for 15 miles off the South Jersey coast, evoked interest, concerns, questions, opposition and support. Concerns over how the project could affect tourism, the visual impact of the massive wind turbines offshore, and what it would do to marine life, migratory birds and the commercial fishing industry were raised by several speakers. photos, 3:25 minute video, >click to read< 12:01

Coast Guard medevacs a crewmember from a fishing vessel near Manasquan, New Jersey

The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman Monday morning approximately 46 miles east of Manasquan. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay received a call from the captain of a fishing vessel that a crewmember was losing and regaining consciousness while having difficulty breathing. A Coast Guard Air Station MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew was launched to medevac the crewmember after it was determined that weather conditions would not allow for a boatcrew to safely transfer him ashore.  The aircrew arrived on scene, hoisted the crewmember, and transported him to Atlantic Care Hospital in Atlantic City. The vessel has been identified as F/V John and Nicholas. USCG 5th District, Mid-Atlantic, 14:03

OC residents worry offshore wind farm will destroy coastline without easing climate change

“When I first heard about it, in my imagination, it was just going to be one or two, similar to what they have off Block Island [in Rhode Island],” Hornick said. “And I thought, well, if it’s good for the earth and it’s going to be good for the environment, then we should think about doing it. And then I started to research it, and I found out that it’s not what it’s promised. And the magnitude of the project is such that I believe it will devastate our coastline.” The Biden administration has opened up the East Coast to massive commercial offshore wind farms, stretching from Massachusetts down to North Carolina,,, >click to read< 09:29

F/V Bear still stuck in the sand at Island Beach State Park

A 68-foot fishing boat named Bear was (remains) stuck in the sand Thursday morning after it ran aground at the southern end of Island Beach State Park overnight, according to the Coast Guard. Sometime Wednesday night, watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay received a report through VHF Channel 16 of a grounded fishing boat in the sand with three people aboard, officials said. Video, 20 photos, >click to read< 09:42

F/V Bear Update: Drone Footage Shows Grounded Boat Taking a Beating

A bird’s-eye view of the the fishing vessel F/V Bear, a 68-foot scallop boat that became grounded at Island Beach State Park over the weekend, spent another day at the mercy of the waves as crews have yet to be able to free her. In the meantime, new drone footage posted by a YouTuber known as SuazOnn shows the sheer scale of the weight that must be hauled in order to refloat the vessel, which was built in 1984. Video, photos, >click to read< 09:38

New Jersey: Grounded Fishing Boat Still on the Beach

The fishing vessel F/V Bear, a 68-foot boat built in 1984, according to a federal registration database, remained in the surf zone and led to the closure of an area of the park to vehicles and anglers Sunday. State officials closed Area 23 of the park due to concerns over high tides and strong winds Sunday into Monday. “If the boat shifts position, it may create safety and access issues if the boat turns perpendicular to shore,” an announcement said. Video, >click to read< 08:03

Commercial Fishing Vessel Aground on New Jersey Beach

A 10:00 p.m. a witness noticed a fishing vessel run aground on Island Beach State Park in Area 23. The witness stated that is appeared the the vessel lost power and drifted onto shore. According to other sources there were three aboard and no injuries reported. The vessel is marked “Bear” and home port appears to be Barnegat Light, NJ, photos, video, >click to read< 07:27

New Jersey fishing industry wonders if it can coexist with Biden’s planned massive wind farms

Clammers like Charlie Quintana are back from two days at sea on the Christy. Quintana worries about climate change: He says he’s noticed a change in the fisheries because of warming oceans. But he also worries that the hundreds of thousands of acres of wind farms planned for the East Coast will limit where he can catch clams,,, Surf clams were the first seafood to be regulated by the federal government, leading the way for what has become one of the most regulated industries in the nation. Where, when, how and how much are harvested is strictly monitored and enforced.,, “We are literally fighting for the existence of the clam industry to remain in the port of Atlantic City.” >click to read< 10:36

Robert “RJ” Cericola, A well-respected member of the N.J. fishing community has passed away

RJ Cericola lost his valiant battle with cancer on August 18, 2021.  A well-respected member of the fishing community, RJ was born in Point Pleasant Beach and raised in Lavallette. He resided in Brick Township for the last 25 years.  He always had an affinity for the ocean, bay and rivers that surround our area. A master sailor and accomplished outdoorsman, RJ owned and operated his business, F/V Backwash, since 1988.  >click to read< 15:43

Ocean City Councilman Michael DeVlieger, Offshore Wind Farm Warrior, Resigns

City Council Vice President Michael DeVlieger stepped down Thursday night in an emotional farewell that included some hugs, tears and laughter with his colleagues during his last meeting on the seven-member governing body.,, Councilman Keith Hartzell, “No one fights harder than you in a cause,”,, “Early on, I have had the pleasure of being on the front lines when our community was hit by Super Storm Sandy. In the face of tragedy, I witnessed kindness and beauty,,,DeVlieger has been Council’s most outspoken opponent of wind energy offshore wind farm proposed 15 miles off the coast between Atlantic City and Stone Harbor. He has raised concerns about the wind farm’s possible negative impact on the coastal region’s environment, tourism industry and commercial fishing operations. >click to read< 10:23

They’re not blown away by NJ’s offshore wind power plans!

Opposition is growing among citizens groups, and even some green energy-loving environmentalists are wary of the pace and scope of the plans. The most commonly voiced objections include the unknown effect hundreds or even thousands of wind turbines might have on the ocean, fears of higher electric bills as costs are passed on to consumers, and a sense that the entire undertaking is being rushed through with little understanding of what the consequences might be. Recreational and commercial fishermen have long felt left out of the planning for offshore wind, much of which will take place in prime fishing grounds. Similar concerns have been voiced by offshore wind opponents in Massachusetts, France and South Korea, among other places. >click to read< 09:50

Community mourns passing of ‘a great American’, Capt. Warren Butler

Lifelong waterman, Captain Warren Butler, 92, died unexpectedly, Friday, July 2, of apparent heart failure. Upon learning of his death, Jerry Harris, founding family member of Harris Seafood, and Harris Crab House at Kent Narrows, said, “My whole family knew Captain Warren. He was a great man, a great American. He sold oysters to my father. I looked up to Captain Warren all my life. Black or white, he was a role model, someone to model your own life by. I wish there were many more people in the world like Captain Warren!” Butler had a lifetime passion working as a waterman, first, working alongside his father and brothers to help support their family. From 1954 to 1983, Butler worked in the oyster and crab industry in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Throughout his life, he owned and operated 17 commercial boats, carrying may fishing parties out of the Chesapeake Bay, also oystering and sightseeing. photos, >click to read< 08:10

110 ignorant elected “officials” back New Jersey offshore wind farm. Who says its clean?!!

The New Jersey chapter of Elected Officials to Protect America, which announced 110 elected officials from across New Jersey have signed a letter of support for the responsible development of offshore wind, held a virtual news conference Tuesday to highlight the benefits of developing this clean energy source. The group Save Our Shoreline has recently raised concerns about the impact of the planned wind farm on electric rates, marine life and tourism.  >click to read< Its not clean, its NOT responsible. Vote them out, forever!  09:38

Recreational Fishing Alliance founder to retire at the end of 2021

Jim Donofrio, founder and executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, will retire Dec. 31 after 25 years with the organization, the organization announced Wednesday. Donofrio founded the New Gretna-based organization after years as a full-time captain to fight for the rights and regulations of recreational anglers. John DePersenaire, former RFA Fisheries Police & Science researcher, will serve as interim executive director beginning Jan. 1. “It’s been an honor to lead and grow the Recreational Fishing Alliance,”>click to read< 10:31 Best of luck, Jim, Its been an honor to know you. BH

Harvesting the sea

Working out of six major fishing ports, New Jersey fishermen rank No. 1 in the nation when it comes to landing clams, scallops, squid and Atlantic mackerel. “It supports thousands of jobs.’’ Fishermen are the heart and soul of this industry, risking both life and livelihood to land the fish that feed their families, and millions of Americans. “Commercial fishermen are some of the hardest working people,’’ said Wayne Reichle, president, Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May. “They are paid on what they harvest. If they go out to sea and don’t catch anything, they don’t make anything. They take a lot of risk both financially and personally.’’ “In the winter, our guys go anywhere from 75 to 150 miles offshore,’’ said Dave Tauro, manager of Belford Seafood Co-Op in Highlands. “It takes them sometimes 18 hours. Imagine what the fuel cost is. They spend three grand before they leave the dock.’’ photos, >click to read< 13:45

100s of offshore wind farm turbines greenlighted for New Jersey coast – Groucho Marx is all in!

Two wind farm projects were approved, and would provide enough power for 1.1 million homes,,, sure they will! The two projects are a 110-turbine wind farm by Atlantic Shores, which is owned by European power companies Shell New Energies US and EDF Renewables North America, and a 82-turbine farm by Ørsted called Ocean Wind 2. Atlantic Shores’ farm will be located about 10.5 miles off the coast of shore towns north of Atlantic City. Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 2 will be nearly 14 miles off Cape May. >click to read<If Wind Farm Is Constructed You May Soon Forget It Is There – I’m going to have to buy Groucho Marx glasses, complete with a large nose, mustache and huge eyebrows, to dare show my face on LBI after writing this column. But stupid or brave, here I go. I support the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind proposal,,, Better wind than fossil fuels or nuclear. Natural gas pipelines can blow up; as for nuclear, I have only six words – Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Do you remember when the Ocean County Health Department used to distribute potassium iodide pills in case of an incident at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station? Stupidity abounds. >click to read<  Bill Gates says you’re all wrong! Game Changer: Bill Gates Backs Safe & Reliable Next Generation Nuclear Power Plants – >click to read< 

Senate Approves Bill Exempting Commercial Fishermen from State Unemployment Tax

“Currently, New Jersey’s commercial fishermen are on the hook for unemployment taxes, but they are not paid hourly wages, and they have never been able to collect unemployment benefits,” stated Testa. “This bill will have significant impact on the state’s vital fishing industry that has been extremely hard-hit by the pandemic.” According to a release, Testa’s bill (S-3501) would exempt commercial fishermen who are paid on the percentage of fish caught or a percentage of the selling price of those fish from the state unemployment law and its costly tax on earnings. >click to read< 07:52

“They just took our democracy away, folks,” – Heroic Ocean City BLASTS Bill to Fast Track Offshore Wind Farm

City Council on Thursday night blasted state legislation that would speed up development of a proposed offshore wind energy farm as a blatant power grab that strips Ocean City and other local communities of New Jersey’s longstanding tradition of home rule. “Essentially, they’ve taken our right to home rule away from us,” said Councilman Michael DeVlieger, the governing body’s most outspoken critic of the wind farm project. In the latest salvo by Ocean City opposing the wind farm, Council voted 7-0 to approve a resolution that denounces state legislation that would make it easier for the Danish energy company Orsted to build the project off the South Jersey coast.,, “A foreign entity is driving the political machine,” >click to read< 19:34

New Jersey: Local Lawmakers Criticize Legislation to Fast-Track Offshore Wind Farm

“Suddenly, we’ve got a private, foreign company that is determining our position here. For the Legislature and governor to consider taking away home rule is shameful,” Cape May County Board of Commission Director Gerald Thornton said. Thornton and other critics of the wind farm proposed by the Danish energy company Orsted are also troubled by its possible harmful impacts,, Ocean City Council President Bob Barr said the legislation is “eliminating” decades of years of home rule for New Jersey towns in favor of Orsted. “It’s not even an American company”. “This unholy alliance was formed to steal sovereign U.S. territory in our 200-mile exclusive economic zone off our beloved Jersey Shore to build risky, unreliable, unwanted, unnecessary industrial wind farms,” said Tricia Conte, founder of Save Our Shoreline. >click to read< 09:46

New Jersey: Legislators Propose Bill To Limit Local Say Over Offshore Wind Farm Projects

The bill comes at a time when Ørsted’s proposed offshore wind project has been gaining opposition from several coastal communities concerned about the cables running underneath New Jersey beaches, including Ocean City and Long Beach Island. Assemblyman John Burzichelli, a southern New Jersey Democrat who sponsored the bill,,, “I can assure you, having been at ground zero of these discussions, we will allow nothing to happen that will disrupt Ocean City and the true gem that it is,” Burzichelli said at the state Assembly hearing during which the bill was advanced. >click to read< 08:45

Leave Our Ocean Alone – Pursue Energy Technologies on Land

Onshore alternatives exist that can make use of existing infrastructure and not impact our ocean resources. I urge readers to look into these alternatives. While moving the turbines farther offshore will reduce visibility impacts, it does not resolve the issues associated with industrializing the ocean’s resources. There will be environmental issues to be considered. The Atlantic Shores project proposed off Long Beach Island could include some 200 massive wind turbines, standing 850 feet above sea level and only 9 to 10 miles off our beach, presenting a “wall” of turbines obstructing our view to the horizon. The impact on the environment, including that on the endangered right whale,,, >click to read< by Jim Binder 08:22

Herring Fishermen lose challenge to rule requiring at-sea monitors

A federal judge in Washington D.C. on Tuesday denied the bid of New Jersey-based herring fishermen who sued the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) last year to block a new regulation that will require them to pay for third-party “at-sea monitors” who will survey by-catch. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the agency had not acted in violation of the MSA,,, About half-a-dozen small fishing vessel operators, including the Loper Bright Enterprise, brought the lawsuit last year. >click to read< 11:57

The smart New Jersey residents fighting the state’s irresponsible wind farm plan

Tricia Conte, the founder of Save Our Shoreline, is dead set against the wind farm. “I was initially concerned about the view,” she said. “And then the more research I did I realized there were greater issues than the view.” She said, “In other areas where there has been green energy installed, California, Germany and Denmark, there was significant increases in the cost of electricity.” Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, said initially there will be a cost increase but “we have to take the long view on offshore wind, and it’s a huge opportunity for our state’s economy and it’s the only way we’re going to be able to fight climate change.” >click to read< 09:40

N.J. fishing industry to get another $9.5M for Coronavirus relief

An incoming tide of federal dollars aims to lift a few boats, bait shops and seafood markets in the Garden State. New Jersey is set to receive another $9.5 million in COVID-19 relief money for the state’s fishing industry,,, The influx of cash comes from the $900 billion relief package passed by Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump in December. The money will be given to New Jersey by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, after the state Department of Environmental Protection gets a spending plan for the money approved. The DEP plans to submit its plan in coming days. >click to read< 17:50

With the Ocean Wind Offshore Wind Farm on the horizon, a storm is building

Ocean Wind, according to those closely following the project, is headed for a series of turf wars, loud debates and protracted legal battles, even before the first turbine is sited off the coast of southern New Jersey.,, even supporters and opponents of the proposed wind farm at times disagree among themselves on how to move forward. Environmentalists, commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, labor unions, homeowners, boardwalk businesses, NIMBYs and ratepayer advocates are all circling Orsted, the Dutch wind power company behind what could be one of the largest wind farms in North America. Local, state and federal officials are also starting to feel the heat. Just about everyone involved, including David Hardy, CEO of Orsted US, worries the project could devolve into chaos. >click to read< 13:11

State of New Jersey Needs to Address Community Offshore Wind Farm Concerns

Oersted is currently seeking federal permits for its planned 99 turbine wind farm 15 miles off the southern New Jersey coast. Public meetings held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held in April did little to calm the growing skepticism surrounding the project. Cape May County’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and commercial fishing.,, Save Our Shores argues that the turbines pose a threat to migratory birds and marine mammals. The Sierra Club says those opposing the wind farms are doing so based on bad science. The Garden State Seafood Association contends that the location studies did not consider the potential negative impact on commercial fishing. >click to read< 08:22