Tag Archives: Morro Bay

Wind Energy off Morro Bay Faces Fisher Lawsuit and Marine Sanctuary Issues

Three new wind farms in the waters north of Santa Barbara County have run into a few obstacles in their attempts to bring offshore wind to the Central Coast. On top of discussions with government agencies and the Northern Chumash tribe, the three developers face a lawsuit from two San Luis Obispo fisheries claiming that “best practices” are not being used in the process of approving and building off the coast of Morro Bay. The lawsuit was filed by the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization (MBCFO) and the Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Association, who claim that the equipment used to survey underwater land for offshore wind development could be harmful, and possibly deadly, to sea animals in the area. They added that this would infringe on the fishermen’s right to fish and be detrimental to the commercial fishing industry in all of California. Photos, charts, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 09:50

Offshore wind or tribal rights? Biden’s California dilemma.

Several offshore wind developers want to build the state’s first farms off the coast here, projects that are needed for California and the White House to reach decarbonization goals. But this summer, the administration is also likely to designate the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary in coastal waters that surround Morro Bay, a plan that the offshore wind industry says blocks their access to the grid. Equinor, Golden State Wind and Invenergy California Offshore, companies with offshore wind farms planned off the bay, hope to carve out guaranteed paths for their power lines to reach shore, when the NOAA finalizes the sanctuary in coming months. “The ocean should not be the sacrificial lamb for our unquenchable thirst for energy,” said Violet Sage Walker, chair of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, the Indigenous tibe that proposed the marinre sanctuary to NOAA. more, >>click to read<< 09:29

‘We cannot fish in a wind farm’: Local fishermen file lawsuit over offshore wind project

Many people in Morro Bay have mixed feelings about a planned offshore wind project. Now, a lawsuit has been filed. The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization and the Port San Luis Commercial Fisherman’s Association claim some rules and regulations related to the project have not been followed. The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization was incorporated in 1972 and has around 100 members. “We’ve been here for a while and we’ve got an incredibly good reputation in all of those years, and we are very proud of it,” said Jeremiah O’Brien, Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization Vice President. more, >>click to read<< 06:52

CA Coastal Types Singing Wind Turbine Blues: Help, Help Me, Rhonda! Get ‘Em Outta My Park!

I’m not really sure if there’s anything much funnier than when touchy-feely progressive types wake up one morning and realize what they’ve foisted on everyone else is suddenly coming home to roost in someplace they consider breathtakingly beautiful and ever so special. Two of President Joe Biden’s biggest priorities — conservation and the switch to clean energy — are colliding in the ocean off California’s quiet Central Coast. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay boasts a rich ecosystem of fish, otters and migrating whales that the Indigenous Chumash people want to protect with a new marine sanctuary. They’d also neglected to check in with fisherfolk who ply the area or, probably more importantly because no one gives a rat’s patootie about working folks, they neglected to consult with any of the CA tribes who call that area home. They weren’t happy in 2022. more, >>click to read<<  By Seege Welborn 14:50

Equinor Names California Floating Wind Project

Equinor has announced the name of its floating offshore wind project off the coast of California, Atlas Wind. The lease area, which lies 60 miles from Morro Bay, has the capacity to provide over 2GW of reliable, renewable power, enough to power 1.7 million California homes once complete. California is poised to become a growing force in the US energy transition with a nation-leading target of 25GW of offshore wind energy by 2045.  Approximately two-thirds of the United States’ offshore wind energy potential lies in deep coastal waters, like the Pacific Ocean, where water depths reach 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) or more. more, >>click to read<< 11:36

Some Morro Bay Residents Are Dead Set Against CA’s Offshore Wind Farms

Joey Racano used to have a dining room table. Now the sunlit nook off the family kitchen more often than not serves as a conference room. The table is covered with maps, thick binders bulging with tech reports, towers of meeting minutes, abandoned coffee mugs — the accumulation of years of community vigilance. On this day, his home is a lively place where a handful of locals are discussing one of California’s most complex and audacious initiatives — loading the Pacific Ocean with sprawling wind farms that float 20 miles from shore. “This is just another attempt to industrialize the coast,” said Rachel Wilson, who lives in Cayucos, a tiny, old-fashioned beach town, and regularly attends public meetings about the wind projects. “I can just see Port Hueneme with cranes and lights and a huge wharf in my charming little coastal community. No way.” >>click to read<< 08:37

“A massive enterprise’: California’s offshore wind farms are on a fast track

The tantalizing possibility of capturing wind energy from giant floating ocean platforms is considered essential to achieving California’s ambitious goal of electrifying its grid with 100% zero-carbon energy. The state’s blueprint envisions offshore wind farms producing 25 gigawatts of electricity by 2045, powering 25 million homes and providing about 13% of the power supply. The projects will be a giant experiment: No other floating wind operations are in such deep waters. From China to Rhode Island, about 250 offshore wind farms are operating around the world, mostly in shallow waters close to shore and secured to the ocean floor. But the areas off California with the strongest winds are far from shore and too deep for traditional platforms, so developers are planning clusters of floating platforms about 20 miles off the coast, in waters more than a half-mile deep and tethered by cables. Photos, >>click to read<< 10:49

Commercial Fisherman Fredrick (Fred) Reno Italo Arnoldi of Morro Bay, has passed away

Fred left on his Eternal Hunting and Fishing Trip in the early morning hours on June 27, 2023, passing peacefully in his home in Morro Bay, with his wife Diane and his sister Janice by his side. Fred was born January 3, 1951 raised in Santa Barbara where he attended Lincoln Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High School, and Santa Barbara High School 1970. He left Santa Barbara to become a commercial fisherman up until his last day on earth. He fished salmon in Alaska and the South Seas. Fred seined in San Pedro, and fished herring in San Francisco. Fred owned several vessels including Drifter, Halcyon, Roselena Marie, H2O K-9 and Amakua. A Celebration of Life will be held August 19 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay. All are invited. >click to read< 09:51

Commercial Fisherman Frederick Reno Italo Arnoldi of Morro Bay, has passed away

Frederick “Fred” Arnoldi, 72, of Morro Bay, California, left on his Eternal Hunting and Fishing Trip in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 27, 2023. He is survived by his wife Diane Arnoldi; siblings Dennis Arnoldi and Janice Morgan; nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Fred was born and raised in Santa Barbara, where he attended Santa Barbara High School. He left Santa Barbara to become a commercial fisherman from 1968 until his last day on earth. He fished salmon in Alaska and the South Seas. Fred seined in San Pedro, and fished herring in San Francisco. Fred owned several vessels including Drifter, Halcyon, Roselena Marie, H2O K-9 and Amakua. >click to read< 21:29

Will Morro Bay wind farms be the demise of Port San Luis?

I heard about the proposed Morro Bay Offshore Wind Farm awhile back but didn’t really think too much about it. But now I understand there is a plan to industrialize Port San Luis to be used as a base to assemble, operate, and maintain the 1,000 feet wind turbines for the wind farm and for the Vandenberg Space Force base to barge in rockets and components that are too large to travel by land. I am not sure this is such a good idea. I began to do some research on wind farms. This developed into hours and hours of digging through material. What I have learned is quite alarming. >click to read< 08:06

Who will benefit from Morro Bay wind energy job creation?

California plans to rely on offshore wind energy to achieve its renewable energy goals. The off-shore wind farms are projected to generate 2,000 to 5,000 megawatts of energy by 2030 and 25,000 megawatts by 2045. Cyrus Ramezani and Mahdi Rastad’s 86-page report details the economic impacts of the Morro Bay wind energy projects and identifies the types of jobs that will be created. Last year, the federal government auctioned off three offshore wind energy sites located between 20 and 30 miles off the coast near Morro Bay. The report does not discuss the number of jobs the county will lose in the fishing and hospitality industries. >click to read< 16:30

Morro Bay group plans initiative to block proposed battery storage plant

A group of Morro Bay residents who call themselves Citizens for Estero Bay Preservation has submitted a citizen’s initiative that aims to block construction of a battery storage facility near the old power plant. The 24-acre site for the proposed battery plant is adjacent to a major PG&E substation, where it would connect to the California grid via high-voltage power lines that climb the hills from Morro Bay across SLO County to the California transmission system. Some critics, however, don’t want to see these systems in their backyard. They point to the need to preserve Morro Bay’s fishing village atmosphere. There is another aspect to all this. Many of the same critics don’t want the offshore wind project either and lump their concerns together. >click to read< 08:52

Wind-power auction at Morro Bay shows how money matters in climate projects

This head-scratching story is centered on Morro Bay. When offshore wind development became a public issue there nearly a decade ago, citizens expressed concerns about the impacts of turbines on birds, fisheries, or, even at a distance of 20 miles from land, the natural beauty of the coast. But in 2015, Castle Wind LLC — a joint venture between Washington state-based Trident Winds and the subsidiary of a Germany utility — started a dialogue with residents and stakeholders. Castle Wind, following local leaders’ advice, talked first with fishermen, whose struggles are well-known. After two-plus years of discussions, Castle Wind and two fishermen’s associations forged a novel mutual benefits agreement. >click to read< 10:34

California Offshore Wind Projects Face Hurdles as Pressure Groups, Industry Interests Weigh In

As the Biden administration plans for the country’s first West Coast offshore wind turbines, interests ranging from commercial fishing fleets to powerful environmental groups are complicating the road ahead for the California projects. Some fishermen are worried about losing access to swaths of rich fishing grounds, where they would have to stop towing nets that could get caught on underwater cables. Lori Steele, executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, said offshore wind power projects threaten an industry that also must deal with depleted fish stocks and soaring coastal real-estate prices. “We’re struggling to make sure that people understand that, just because you can’t see it, that doesn’t mean it’s not having an impact,” she said. There is early discussion about creating fishing compensation funds, similar to ones created by East Coast projects for financial losses, “but the industry doesn’t want to be bought out,” she said. >click to read< 08:08

Fishermen, residents voice concerns about proposed Morro Bay offshore wind farm

An area of ocean 20 miles from the Cambria shoreline and about 35 miles northeast of Morro Bay could become home to nearly 400 square miles of wind turbines,,, Many, like Cheri Hafer, are concerned the area will prohibit commercial fishing. “One of our biggest enemies right now is industrialization of the ocean,” Hafer said. “Not just to fishermen, but to the marine habitat.” Larry Thevik, a dungeness crab fisherman, said many fishermen feel like their concerns aren’t being heard and that the impact it may have on the commercial fishing industry isn’t being thoroughly considered. >click to read<  Public critical of environmental analysis for Morro Bay Wind Energy Area – A number of public speakers at an offshore wind energy impact analysis scoping meeting said a full environmental impact statement should be prepared before the federal government leases tracts in an area northwest of Morro Bay. But officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said a full EIS can’t be conducted on the effects of wind turbine installation,,, >click to read< 12:12

Derelict sunken fishing boat hauled from the bottom of Morro Bay Harbor

Morro Bay now has one less boat in its waters after a sunken commercial fishing boat was pulled onto land Thursday afternoon. The 1970s-era wooden boat “Lady Maxine” had been at the bottom of the bay since late July. Prior to the sinking, its condition had severely declined after years of abandonment by its owner, according to Morro Bay Harbor Director Eric Endersby. Getting the boat out of the water wasn’t a simple job. photos, video, >click to read< 14:16

Offshore Wind Farms: Wind is not the answer, it’s a false dream of unreliable energy

The plan to construct a wind farm offshore of Morro Bay is based on a whole lot of hope and not much credibility.,, The American Jobs Plan is not destined to fulfill a lasting solution to economic stability in San Luis Obispo County. There is no factual or reasonable replacement for Diablo Canyon. There’s nothing to replace the amount of sustainable, constant, reliable clean energy supplied by Diablo Canyon. There’s nothing to replace the 1,500-plus full-time positions. The New Green Deal may be green but not a good deal! There’s no receiving something 100 percent if it’s not available 100 percent. >click to read< by Ellie Ripley 14:14

Illegal firework blamed for devastating partial amputation of a hand on a Morro Bay fishing boat

Firefighters are reminding people about the dangers of illegal fireworks after a person was injured on a 60-foot fishing boat Thursday night. Morro Bay Fire says firefighters and paramedics responded to a fishing boat off the South T-Pier around 11:40 p.m. for what they described as a “devastating partially amputated hand caused by an illegal mortar.” We’ll update it as we find more info.  >click to read<,  and here, >here<11:33

California’s first offshore wind farm has Morro Bay fishermen worried

Wind turbines are coming. “These things are as big as skyscrapers,” says Chris Pavone, who’s among roughly 120 fishermen who trap, troll, and drop lines off Morro Bay and Avila Beach. He’s worried about what could become the first offshore wind farm on the West Coast. Approved by the Biden administration, the project would bring roughly 200 floating turbines into the open ocean off the Central Coast. >click to read< 09:42

It may be a limited 2021 season, but Giovanni’s Fish Market in Morro Bay begins annual dock sale

“The community treats us super well so we just want to give back and do like an annual special,” De-Garimore said. “We just knew that we want to support the local fishermen too. Getting the local catch to the local people at a killer price, it’s a win-win for everybody and that’s why you see the giant lines.” The fish from this year’s sale are from all over the California Coast, primarily the area near Bodega Bay. De-Garimore and other market employees drove up to get the fish from there, returning Saturday night with almost 10,000 pounds of salmon. >Video, click to watch< 15:34

Will the offshore wind farm hurt the Morro Bay fishing industry? ‘We’re basically screwed’!

About 50% of Bill Blue’s annual income comes from the black cod he catches in the Morro Bay call area. Erecting wind turbines in the ocean there would likely force him and others who fish rock cod, albacore tuna, salmon, prawns, swordfish and black cod, also known as sablefish, to completely abandon the area. “What we’re seeing is the government going ‘Drop everything. We have to do this right now: clear all the obstacles, push the fishermen off the map,’ ” said Alan Alward, secretary of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the local fishing industry. >click to read< 08:34

Morro Bay’s offshore wind farm is the new bullet train to nowhere

News outlets breathlessly reported the great news that California and the feds will build a 399 square mile floating wind farm to generate electricity. The farm will be located 17 to 40 miles offshore west and north of Morro Bay, and will generate a whopping 3 Giga Watts (3 GWh) of power, enough to power a million homes. Politicians and advocates trumpet this progress,,, Unfortunately, this is just another big sack of steaming, stinking, rotting BS that politicians hope to sell to Californians.  Meanwhile, plans proceed to decommission Diablo Canyon in 2024, a plant that produced an average of 44.3 GWh/day in 2019 – that’s 14.8 wind farms, at 400 square miles each, for the greenies among us. Internet searches claim Diablo Canyon provides 10% of California’s daily electricity needs, which further searches list at somewhere between 450 and 800 GWh/day. >click to read< By Barry Hanson 16:03

Biden opens (condemns) California coast to floating offshore wind turbines – “We believe it’s shortsighted,”

The announcement, endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, moves forward the prospect for wind farms in two areas about 20 miles off the coast of Morro Bay and Humboldt County. Turbines roughly 600 to 700 feet tall would be built on floating platforms because the water is too deep to anchor them to the sea floor. “We believe it’s shortsighted,”  said Mike Conroy, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, “Floating offshore wind technology is unproven. It hasn’t been deployed on a large industrial scale yet. We have no idea what the environmental impacts will be off our coast.”  >click to read< 13:16

Maine Fishermen oppose offshore wind as alternative energy option – Support LD 101

“There’s so many different reasons to oppose it,” said Jack Merrill, a resident of Mount Desert and a member of the Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op,,, In an effort to meet Maine’s requirement of 80 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and the goal of 100 percent by 2050, there is a project being proposed to research offshore wind energy by installing up to 12 floating wind turbines in a 16-square-mile area, 20-40 miles off the coast. “By removing thousands of acres of bottom from fishing access, these turbines threaten the economic health of Maine’s second largest industry,,, >click to read< 13:48

Morro Bay: Fishing Industry Opposes New Floating Wind Farm Project Area – Tom Hafer, president of the 90-member Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, criticized the proposal, saying it amounted to a “bait and switch.” >click to read<

New regulations delayed the 2020-21 Dungeness crab season, forcing crab fishermen to rely on staples like black cod

Like many other fishermen, Blue doesn’t just fish for one kind of seafood. He fishes for black cod and Dungeness crab with a small team—himself and two other men. He’s been in the industry since 1974, when he moved to Morro Bay at the age of 18 and got his first job as a deckhand. Three years later, he bought his first boat when, he said, it cost about $100 to be in business. Things have changed a lot since then.,, >click to read< 11:11

Fishing Industry Opposes New Floating Wind Farm Project Area

Navy says no to proposal to move floating wind farm area. The idea was discussed at the task force’s July 1 webinar, which replaced a planned public meeting in Morro Bay. Tom Hafer, president of the 90-member Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, criticized the proposal, saying it amounted to a “bait and switch.” Originally, Castle Wind, one of the proposed developers, suggested it would ask for a site for up to 100 turbines some 30 miles off the coast. The company spent months huddling with the Morro Bay fishing industry and the city and got them to agree to the idea. A memo of understanding was signed. The new task force proposal being discussed could move the 900-foot-tall turbines as much as half the distance closer to shore into waters they use for fishing, Hafer said. “This is going to screw up fishing,” Hafer said. “This is going to change the migratory habits of a lot of fish out there — albacore, salmon, black cod. Who knows what these are going to do?” Hafer also is concerned that the wind industry will want more territory in the future as well. >click to read< 09:15

Scientists Struggle to Save Seagrass From Coastal Pollution

In parts of the United States and other developed countries, there is growing recognition of the importance of seagrass and its sensitivity to nitrogen-rich runoff from sewage treatment plants and other sources. Too much nitrogen can spike algae growth, which clouds the water and blocks the sunlight seagrass needs to grow. “We think this is a problem that has to be solved,”,, Communities around the Great Bay have spent about $200 million to upgrade wastewater treatment plants,,, >click to read< 13:24

Coast Guard seeks public comment regarding bar entrances in central, northern California

The Coast Guard initiated a public comment period Thursday pertaining to proposed safety requirements at several bar entrances in central and northern California. Regulated Navigation Areas are being proposed for the harbor bar entrances to Crescent City Harbor, Humboldt Bay, Noyo River and Morro Bay. The proposed regulation would create additional safety requirements for recreational and small commercial vessels operating in these areas during periods of hazardous conditions,,, >click to read<  17:36

Morro Bay: Local fishermen, businesses impacted by delay of Dungeness crab fishing season

It’s a season that has already been cut by two-and-a-half months and for some fishermen, it’s becoming harder to keep their businesses afloat. “Could you go home and take a week off with no pay? Or two weeks, or three months like we’re forced to? Not very many people can,” said Lori French. French and her husband own a fishing boat in Morro Bay. Their main catch is Dungeness crab. >click to read< 07:51

California fishermen, once blocked by conservationists, now work with them

Morro Bay, a town on California’s central coast, touts itself as a fishing community. Fishing has been vital for the town’s economy, but it collapsed at the turn of the century because of overfishing and subsequent federal regulation. Fishermen were offered some relief money for their losses, but the industry was left for dead. Now, things are on the upswing thanks to an unlikely partnership between local fishermen and environmental group The Nature Conservancy.,,, The Nature Conservancy, a powerful nonprofit, became interested in the area more than a decade ago. Known for buying up land to protect it from development, the group’s first strategy was to buy up about half of all the available groundfish licenses. click here to read the story. 09:49