Tag Archives: New Jersey

Offshore Wind Lease Areas Impede on Historic Fishing Grounds

In announcing its decision Monday (the initial deadline for comment), BOEM said it received requests from tribal nations and stakeholders to provide more time to review and comment on the lengthy environmental document. The decision also came on the 40th anniversary of COA’s incorporation. “When we started in 1984, the ocean was the dumping capital of the world. We worked really hard to clean it up and in 2000 we ended ocean dumping. (That’s) the power of the people,” Cindy Zipf, COA executive director, said. Since then, the Atlantic Ocean has thrived, she added. “We’ve seen majestic animals and (the) bounty of what she (the ocean) provides (us) free,” Zipf said. “What’s the return now? There’s a bunch of people that want to industrialize the ocean to claim some green energy revolution, but the facts aren’t there. We don’t see them.” more, by Gina G. Scala, >>click to read<< 10:41

Coast Guard, good Samaritans assist disabled fishing vessel crew off Barnegat Light, New Jersey 

 The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted four mariners Tuesday after the 64-foot commercial fishing vessel F/V Monica became disabled about 85 miles from the New Jersey coast. F/V Monica was reported to be experiencing transmission issues and a Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew safely towed the vessel to Lighthouse Marina, in Barnegat Light. Good Samaritans aboard the nearby commercial F/V Alexandria Dawn heard the distress call and diverted to help. The F/V Alexandria Dawn crew arrived on scene and initiated a tow of the F/V Monica towards Barnegat Light. 3 photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:29

Most New Jerseyans say they do not want massive wind farms at the shore 

Support for building wind turbines off New Jersey’s coast has taken a dive in the last four years, particularly among residents of shore towns, a Stockton University Poll reveals. Currently, half of the state’s residents are on board with plans to erect wind turbines at sea for electricity, a sharp fall from the 80% support measured in a 2019 survey. Back in 2019, nearly 80% of New Jersey adults were all for offshore wind farms, with a strong backing from 77% of coastal dwellers. Now, only 33% of those living near the coast are fans of the idea, according to the latest findings. more, >>click to read<< 17:20

Six offshore wind turbine sites planned off Barnegat Light, draw large crowd to Toms River

A plan to place wind turbine farms in six areas of ocean off the Jersey Shore brought a crowd to the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Thursday, where the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management fielded questions and concerns. Federal personnel met with more than 100 offshore wind supporters, critics and curious residents over a plan to develop an area of the Atlantic known as the New York Bight. Gus Lovgren, a fourth-generation fisherman, has a vessel named the Lilly Rose docked in Pleasant Beach. Lovgren worries that his family’s century-long fishing heritage in the United States is coming to an end. He said offshore wind farms could block his access to more than half of his usual fishing grounds. The wind farms will bring “devastation and the extinction of our industry,” Lovgren said. photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:29

The Plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s Big Chevron Case Moonlight as Anti–Offshore Wind Activists

William Bright, Wayne Reichle, and Stefan Axelsson have a lot in common. They live in Southern New Jersey and run commercial fishing operations whose catch includes Atlantic herring, silvery little bottom-dwellers that feed on krill and fish larvae. They are plaintiffs in a Supreme Court case that could soon kneecap federal agencies’ ability to write and enforce regulations. And for the past few years, they’ve had a common adversary: offshore wind developers. Plaintiffs in one of the most closely watched cases this term participated in efforts to block two major renewables projects off the coast of New Jersey, Ocean Wind 1 and 2. The campaign against Ocean Wind 1 and 2 was aided by a network of conservative groups and corporate backers, who rejoiced when Danish energy firm Ørsted canceled both projects in November. Now, when the Supreme Court rules on Chevron this spring, these groups may have a much bigger win to celebrate. more, >>click to read<< 06:53

New Rutgers Study Confirms Hypoxic Event Last Summer off the New Jersey Coast by Jim Lovgren

In a scientific report released in December 2023 by Associate Professor Grace Saba, and Professor Josh Kohut using underwater robots, called “Gliders” to track ocean water quality, specifically, oxygen concentrations and PH levels, the researchers discovered that large areas of the New York Bight suffered a hypoxic event last summer.  The study suggests that any of a number of factors could have caused these conditions, including a change in normal ocean stratification, increased input of nutrients which increase phytoplankton production, increased sea temperatures, and a few more. Conveniently missing from the possible causes of this hypoxic event is the impact of the offshore wind research vessels that have been extensively using high powered sonar and seismic devises throughout the New York bight area for over a year now. Also ignored was any outreach to the scallop fishermen along the coast who have been reporting unusual amounts of “clappers”, which are dead scallops, in their tows. In an article posted in the spring of 2023 in Fisherynation.com, “Is the Great Fishkill of 1976 About to be Repeated?“, I suggested that the New York bight could see an environmental catastrophe that could rival or surpass the great fish kill of 1976 and would be caused by the decomposing bodies of the dead sea creatures killed by the seismic and Sonar assault on the ocean bottom by offshore wind research vessels. Links, more, >>click to read<< 19:46

Pallone, Environmentalists Want Shipping Speeding Rules Enforced

Is the sonar activity related to offshore wind farms leading to whale deaths? The debate rages on. The Long Branch-based environmental group Clean Ocean Action suspects a possible connection between a spate of at least nine whales being stranded on the beaches of New Jersey and New York in December 2022  and January 2023 and wind farm activity, with COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf saying a moratorium is necessary “until an investigation is completed into why whales and the dolphins have been dying and to make sure it’s nothing to do with the intense amount of offshore wind pre-construction activity. However, other environmental groups, such as the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, which are supporters of the wind farms and government agencies such as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, say they have found no evidence of whale deaths being linked to offshore wind activity. more, >>click to read<< 14:23

New Jersey Approves Two Major Offshore Wind Projects

The approvals were part of the state’s third solicitation for offshore wind power as it aims to achieve approximately 11,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2040. The developments are expected to bring significant economic benefits for New Jersey and establish it as a key player in the offshore wind supply chain. New Jersey’s offshore wind development strategy aims to secure the best overall value for ratepayers while safeguarding the environment and commercial and recreational fishing interests. As part of their commitment, the awarded projects will provide over $60 million for environmental and fisheries research, monitoring, and conservation efforts. The approvals come as the offshore wind industry faces challenges from soaring costs, high interest rates and supply chain bottlenecks that have forced some projects to developers to pivot their plans or cancel projects altogether. “Governor Murphy’s leadership is positioning New Jersey as a significant hub for offshore wind development,” said Said Anne Reynolds, Vice President for offshore wind at the American Clean Power Association. More, >>click to read<< 10:45

BOEM Aims to Control Offshore Wind Developments’ Risk to Right Whales

In advance of future offshore wind development in the New York Bight, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing a region-wide environmental impact statement, paving the way for faster federal permitting of each individual project down the road. If built out, the future projects would mean the installation of about 1,100 turbines, 22 offshore substations and 1,600 miles of subsea cable. Without mitigation, BOEM expects the development of six offshore wind farms would have a “major” impact on right whales because of the noise from pile driving, blasting of unexploded ordnance, entanglement in abandoned gear and vessel strikes. North Atlantic right whales are so endangered that each individual death has a substantial impact, and additional losses cannot be absorbed – so BOEM wants to control the risk.  more, >>click to read<< 09:15

Whales and other marine life are still dying. The crisis at the NJ Shore remains urgent

It’s worth noting that it has been a full year since coastal residents realized that there was something amiss in our oceans — the start of a frightening number of whale and dolphin deaths. In the New Jersey and New York area alone, there have been 38 whales and 60 dolphins and porpoises washed ashore. That’s 98 endangered marine mammals found dead. That’s almost two marine mammals per week, while others have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Meanwhile, the federal agencies responsible to protect marine mammals have neglected their responsibility, and turned down opportunities to cooperate, be transparent and engage in meaningful dialogue. Video, more, >>click to read<< 11:48

Liftboat Surveying Sunken Fishing Vessel Off Point Pleasant Beach

An unusual vessel offshore of Point Pleasant Beach that drew the attention of onlookers Tuesday was on the scene surveying a fishing trawler that sank in November, authorities said. Christian Zimny, project manager for Northstar Marine Services of Cape May, said the boat, called a liftboat, was being used by the company to check on the status of the Susan Rose, the 77-foot fishing trawler that sank in November. Crews were trying to remove the boat from where it ran aground in Point Pleasant Beach when it filled with water and sank not far from the beach on Nov. 19. more, >>click to read<< 19:21

Ørsted pulled out of NJ. What comes next for wind power at the Jersey Shore?

After Ørsted, Danish energy company, announced in October that it would pull out of the billion-dollar project to build wind turbines off the New Jersey coast, there was discussion about what would come next for clean energy development in the Garden State. Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the state’s Board of Public Utilities would seek another wind energy company in early 2024 and engage in contracts in early 2025. Why did Ørsted drop its New Jersey projects? The company ended development of the Ocean Wind 1 and 2 projects, which were supposed to be built off the coast of Atlantic City. Two other projects, one by Avangrid and another by SouthCoast, a joint venture of Shell and Ocean Winds North America,  were also canceled earlier this year in Massachusetts, forcing the companies to pay penalties of $48 million and $60 million, respectively. >>click to read<<10:48

NJ’s lucrative clam fishing industry is threatened by climate change – and the wind farms meant to fight it

The Atlantic surfclam fleet fishes year-round from Virginia to Massachusetts and out to the edge of the continental shelf. The fleet sold $27 million worth of surfclams to processors last year, federal data shows, and the sector is largely based out of New Jersey — three-fifths of last year’s haul was brought ashore in the Garden State.  Surfclam meat is used for chowders, clam strips and other products, including tinned products. Muscles that the clams use to pull themselves around the seafloor, which are called tongues or feet, are the most highly valued parts. The product unloaded in Point Pleasant Beach was destined to be shucked at the processing plant and delivered to manufacturers like Campbell’s, Bumble Bee Foods and LaMonica Fine Foods. more, >>click to read<< 10″57

A group of commercial fishermen have ended up before the Supreme Court

An unforgiving southeast wind cut across Cape May, New Jersey, on a recent Tuesday morning; the 50-mile-per-hour gusts were so strong they created white caps on a section of the bay here that is typically calm. There would be no fishing for Bill Bright and his crew. “We don’t have crop insurance. If the fish don’t show up, there’s no bailout,” the 64-year-old said, standing on the deck of the Eva Marie, an 88-foot-long fishing vessel used to catch herring. As a lifelong fisherman, Bright is used to slow days. But a recent shift in tidal fortunes here has nothing to do with fish and everything to do with the federal government. “What’s at stake for us is our future,” Bright said. For years, fishermen like Bill Bright and his colleague Wayne Reichle have been required to take federal observers on their boats when they set out into the North Atlantic in search of herring.  Video , >>click to read<< 19:06

China Does Not Follow Int’l Law, Hurting American Fishermen

On Monday morning, Captain Richard Isaksen, president of the Belford Seafood Co-op, met with North Middletown’s congressman to call for stricter scrutiny on seafood products imported from China. Did you know? The United States imports more than $2 billion of seafood products from China every year. But China’s cheap labor practices and illegal fishing methods are hurting American fishing companies, said Isaksen. Congressman Frank Pallone agrees: “The flagrant disregard from the People’s Republic of China for international and domestic laws allows China to export seafood that is often sold at low prices to establish a market advantage — and drive out American seafood producers,” he said. more, >>click to read<< 09:45

Giving Back: Wenzel uses net gains to help needy

As the son of a carpenter and custom home builder, Brick Wenzel said he hated getting wood splinters in his fingers when he was young. Born and raised in Lavalette, just north of Seaside Heights in Ocean County, he said his fascination with fish began in his early teens. As a young teen, he would collect bait fish and sell them to fishermen around town and party boat fishing captains to earn money, aside from his duties delivering the Ocean County Observer. His lifelong passion for all things fish-related has paid off. In 2018, to give back to the community at large, he founded America’s Gleaned Seafood, a non-profit group that donates leftover fish to area food banks. Offices for America’s Gleaned Seafood are located at the Point Pleasant Seafood Co-Op, which he believes is the oldest farmers’ cooperative in the United States. more, >>click to read<< 08:01

Divers to inspect fishing boat that sank at Jersey Shore during salvage attempt

The F/V Susan Rose is “fully submerged” in 49 feet of water a half-mile off Point Pleasant Beach, approximately a half-mile south of the Manasquan Inlet, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew West said.  The company in charge of removing the vessel, Northstar Marine Services, is working with the boat’s owners on a new plan to salvage it. “We will be going out to dive on it — to do a dive inspections, take a look at the current state of it,” Northstar Marine Services President Phillip Risko told NJ Advance Media on Monday. “So we’re planning on that in the coming days, but nothing else particular at this point. I’m not sure what day that’s going to be.” Photos, Video, >>click to read<< 10:03

‘Catastrophic failure’: Efforts to salvage fishing trawler Susan Rose end with it sinking

The salvage of the Susan Rose, the fishing boat that ran aground in Point Pleasant Beach, was going as planned early Sunday when water started coursing into the 48-year-old commercial trawler with eight crew members on board, the salvage company owner said. The boat ended up sinking about a half mile offshore during the salvage operation. Northstar Marine Services of Cape May County was handling the salvage operation. Photos, video >>click to read<< 07:07

F/V Susan Rose: Fishing boat that ran aground off N.J. sinks

A 77-foot commercial fishing boat that ran aground three blocks from the Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach last week sank while it was being towed from the area, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Sunday. The Coast Guard received a report of the boat being beached shortly before 5 a.m. Friday. Crews worked all day Saturday to get the boat afloat. As a salvage company was towing it away, the vessel sank in 48 feet of water about a half mile from Manasquan Inlet around 2 a.m. Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Matthew West said. >>click to read<< 13:39

Commercial fishing boat Susan Rose grounded at Point Pleasant Beach – Photos

A commercial fishing boat that beached here early Friday morning drew a crowd of curious onlookers on what was a sun-splashed fall day. The boat is a 98-foot commercial trawler that a witness says was approaching the Manasquan Inlet but instead it came ashore at the north end of Point Pleasant Beach.  The boat is named Susan Rose and hails from Port Judith, Rhode Island, according to MarineTraffic.com, which monitors boat traffic, and commercial fishermen from the Point Pleasant Fishermen’s Cooperative Dock. Capt. Jim Lovgren, who sits on the Co-op’s executive board, said the boat is part of The Town Dock fleet in Narragansett and is here in New Jersey fishing for sea bass and fluke, and has been delivering its catch to the co-op dock. The Town Dock was not able to be reached for comment. 8 photos, >>click to read<< 14:34

77-foot fishing boat runs aground on Jersey Shore beach

Firefighters and emergency workers rescued three people from a 77-foot fishing boat that ran aground in Point Pleasant Beach early Friday, officials said. A fourth person was already out of the fishing vessel Susan Rose when firefighters and EMS arrived on the beach about three blocks south of the Manasquan Inlet, Point Pleasant Beach Fire Chief Ira Waldman said. The Coast Guard received a report about the beached boat shortly before 5 a.m. and sent a boat to assist, a spokesman said. >>click to read<< 09:09

Murphy Tagged $1 Billion of Ratepayer Subsidies to Bailout Failed Foreign Wind Energy Corporation

Senator Michael Testa recently addressed the withdrawal of Ørsted, a Danish wind energy company, from the Ocean Wind 1 & 2 offshore wind farm projects in New Jersey. Testa’s comments highlighted the complexities and controversies surrounding the state’s investment in green energy.  Testa criticized the allocation of state funds, including a $1 billion investment in Ørsted’s projects, as a burden on taxpayers and ratepayers. He described the investment as “a drop in the ocean,” underscoring his view that the funds were insufficient to achieve the intended goals. Additionally, Testa expressed concern about the establishment of a $5 million wind institute, which he perceives as a “propaganda arm” of the wind industry. >>click to read<< 14:50

Cape May County Declares Victory Against Wind Farms

Jubilant Cape May County officials Wednesday celebrated the decision by Danish energy giant Orsted to scrap plans for two wind energy farms off the South Jersey coast, but expressed caution about the possibility that the projects could be resurrected later. “You know, there were many people that said to us, ‘Don’t take on this company. Don’t take on Orsted. They have the White House. They have the Statehouse.’ But unfortunately, they didn’t know about the courthouse,” Cape May County Board of Commissioners Director Leonard Desiderio said. During a news conference, Desiderio and other Republican Cape May County officials repeatedly said the tiny county was able to overcome the political support of President Joe Biden’s Democratic administration and Gov. Phil Murphy in favor of Orsted and the wind farm industry. >>click to read<< 10:32

New Jersey reacts to Ørsted Ocean Wind cancellation shocker

The aftermath is still unfolding Wednesday afternoon — and causing a lot of questions, drama and uncertainty in the state. It all comes against the backdrop of next week’s legislative elections (with offshore wind a central campaign issue in many races), when all 120 seats are up for grabs.Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders all responded with strongly worded statements and reactions, which came ripping through email boxes and across social media accounts in the evening hours on Halloween, which you can read more about here. That continued Wednesday — especially from Republican lawmakers and leaders, who have long questioned the feasibility of offshore wind as well as its potential impacts, leaning into the issue heavily on the campaign trail. >>click to read<< 17:20

Developer cancels plans for 2 N.J. offshore wind farms. Outraged Murphy rips company

Danish company Ørsted announced Tuesday night it will “cease development” for what was slated to be New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm, as well as plans for its second project. It’s a blow to Gov. Phil Murphy’s ambitious clean energy goals and a stunning development for environmentalists supporting the energy alternative, once thought to be operational at the Jersey Shore between 2025 and 2026. Murphy said in his statement that Ørsted’s decision to “abandon its commitments to New Jersey is outrageous and calls into question the company’s credibility and competence.” “As recently as several weeks ago,” Murphy said, “the company made public statements regarding the viability and progress of the Ocean Wind 1 project.” >>click to read<< 07:08

An Opportunity for Neighbors in Ocean City to Voice Opinions on Offshore Wind?

On Tuesday night, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a public meeting at Ocean City Elementary. However, many thought it was a public hearing, which caused some confusion and frustration. By 5:00 p.m., hundreds of people had funneled into Ocean City Elementary, eager to voice any complaints or compliments. Ocean City’s Mayor, Rick Meehan, said the lack of opportunity to speak out loud did not allow the meeting to start off on the right foot. “They were mad and a lot of people left,” said Meehan. “They were very discouraged by the opportunity that was presented to them to speak on something that is very important to this area.” Commercial fishermen like Jimmy Hahn are worried about the future.  “I’m scared to death that the windmills are going to kill our fishing industry,” said Hahn.  Hahn said the lease area is the primary fishing spot out of Ocean City and is also used by fisherman from Delaware and New Jersey. >>click to read<< 15:54

Brigantine Joins With Long Beach Twp. to Oppose Wind Farm Project

Voting 6-1, Brigantine City Council approved a resolution at its Oct. 18 meeting to enter into a shared services agreement with Long Beach Township to engage in litigation against the development of the proposed Atlantic Shores offshore wind project. Brigantine is joined by the Boroughs of Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars, Surf City, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven, with Long Beach Township serving as the lead agent for the shared services agreement. “First and foremost, this is a nonpartisan issue, with people on both sides of the aisle, from all over the state, voicing their concerns about the negative impacts these offshore wind projects will have on the environment and our local economy,” Brigantine Mayor Vince Sera said in a news release. >>click to read<< 07:40

Local Legends in Fishing Boots: Founding Viking Village Dock

Utility green, calf-high dockside boots – “Daddy’s boots,” as Barnegat Light Historical Society President Karen Larson knows the sight – were the launch step into gripping stories of two local legendary captains and families who started the now-flourishing Viking Village commercial dock enterprise on a shoestring and a need to keep a town’s industry alive. The tribute program at the Barnegat Light Museum on Sept. 14 centered on the dock’s development by her late father, Barnegat Light Historical Society President Karen Larson the late Louis Puskas Jr. and their wives, Marion Larson, who died this year, and Frances Puskas. Viking Village Inc. Commercial Seafood Producers at the 18th Street bayside grew from Independent Dock, built in the 1920s by first-generation Norwegian fishermen plying their trade. It’s now an industry leader responsibly producing prime sea scallops and fish dinners for restaurant tables in New York, Chicago and internationally. The museum talk covered history but more so pulled up seats to memories told around the table, by no-fear fishermen themselves. Photos, >>click ti read<< 20:57

Another legal challenge to NJ offshore wind farm project

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, commercial fishing and tourism interests and a conservation group joined Cape May County in accusing federal agencies of ignoring and violating laws designed to protect the environment and marine life. The dispute is the latest that threatens to delay the project, which also faces stiff financial challenges that have led officials from Ørsted, a Danish company, to consider pulling out of building the 98-turbine project. Ørsted’s Ocean Wind I, a 1,100-megawatt project about 15 miles offshore from Atlantic City, is entangled in assorted court battles. Orsted has sued Cape May County and Ocean City over delays in obtaining permits while the state faces challenges over its approval of the project from local groups. >>click to read<< 07:09

Against the wind

Visiting southern New Jersey this summer, I kept seeing yard signs that read “Stop the Windmills—Save Our Coast.” The posters were rallying opposition to the massive Ocean Wind 1 power project 15 miles off the Jersey shore near Atlantic City. That constellation of 853-foot-high wind turbines is supposed to start construction any day now, although delays and financial uncertainties have hampered the project. Ocean Wind 1 is planned to be one of more than two dozen huge wind projects off the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine. If it ever gets built. Which it won’t if the residents of South Jersey have anything to say about it. >>click to read<< 08:56