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Dozens protest against offshore wind farm along Jersey Shore

Offshore wind protest along Jersey Shore
Offshore wind protest along Jersey Shore 02:12

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- Dozens of people rallied outside the New Jersey State House Thursday morning to demand a pause on offshore wind farm development along the Jersey Shore.

The protesters delivered a petition to the governor which they claimed contained more than half a million signatures.

The petition called for an immediate moratorium on offshore wind developments after a recent spate of large whales and dolphins washing ashore on the Jersey Shore.

Protesters blame pre-construction and survey activity related to the building of offshore wind turbines.

"I love the beach. I grew up at the beach," Christina Powell, a protester, said. "I do not want it destroyed with industrialization. I don't want any wind turbines out on our ocean whatsoever. I think they are responsible for killing our marine life."


From December 2022 to the beginning of March, there have been 14 large whale strandings just in New York and New Jersey, and in the last month, nine dolphins have washed up along the Jersey Shore.

It's why Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-13) proposed a bill that'll place a moratorium on offshore wind farm development.

"Until we get a definitive answer on why the whales and dolphins are dying," Assemblyman Scharfenberger said.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said there's no evidence offshore wind development is responsible for the whale and dolphin deaths.


Allison McLeod, of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said preliminary necropsy results show many of these whales and dolphins have been struck by boats.

"However, the number one threat to our marine environment is climate change," McLeod said. "These stranding events began in 2016 when NOAA began tracking them, which is well before the offshore energy development began."

She said wind turbines will help blunt the effects of climate change.

"It's important that we listen to the science and the data, and we follow the professionals and scientists who've dedicated their career to this research," McLeod said.

In response to the protest, Governor Phil Murphy's office referred CBS News Philadelphia to an interview he gave this week, where he said the federal government is investigating the strandings, but because NOAA said there's no evidence to link these strandings to offshore wind development, he said there's no reason to pause activity. 

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