The news that seven dead whales have been found along the New York-New Jersey coastline since December is concerning for marine life advocates, as well as those who care about human health. This has prompted calls for Governor Phil Murphy (D., N.J.) to halt the development of offshore wind farms in the area; however, he has refused.
At this time, it is unknown how the whales died and state and federal agencies are currently investigating. Some environmentalist groups believe that pre-construction activities such as sonar mapping may be a contributing factor in traumatizing marine life in the area. With offshore wind farms being a prominent source of renewable energy, this could become an even bigger issue if their growth isn’t monitored going forward.
It’s important to remember that this is not a new problem – it dates back to 2008 when former President Barack Obama declared war on animals standing between him and his green energy agenda by granting waivers to renewable energy firms to exempt them from any legal consequences of killing protected species like bald eagles. Unfortunately, Governor Murphy’s refusal continues this trend despite widespread concerns over whale deaths caused by his plans for more wind turbines along the coastlines.
Now more than ever, we need to pay attention to what’s happening with our ocean ecosystems and advocate for policies that prioritize animal welfare over profit-driven agendas. Currently, there are few regulations surrounding renewable energy activities at sea due to the difficulty of monitoring these activities; however, strict regulation should be put into place in order to protect both marine life and humans alike from any potential risks associated with these types of projects. Additionally, research should be conducted on alternative ways of harnessing renewable energy so that coastal areas don’t need to take on such high levels of risk when it comes to marine life conservation efforts.
Whales are integral parts of our planet’s complex ecosystems and they provide invaluable benefits – not just aesthetically but also economically – so we must ensure their continued survival if we want future generations to be able enjoy them as much as we do today. It’s time for government leaders like Governor Murphy and other politicians around the world who are responsible for making decisions involving renewable energy projects near coastal areas take into account not only short-term profits but also long-term effects on our environment before giving their stamp of approval.