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What caused NJ whale deaths? More details coming

Press conference to give more details about NJ whale deaths
Press conference to give more details about NJ whale deaths 02:21

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- After seven dead whales washed up on beaches in just the last month, local environmental groups will hold a news conference about their concerns.

Some are wondering if offshore wind projects have something to do with the dead whales. Residents are hoping to get some answers as to why the whales have washed up dead on New York and New Jersey beaches in the last month.

The first was found on December 10th. A 30-foot humpback whale washed ashore at Strathmere beach in Cape May County.

The second whale was found about two weeks later on December 23 near the Tropicana casino.

Then about two weeks after that on January 7, a third whale was found on the beach near Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The latest whale to wash ashore was a 32-foot female found about half a mile north of the old U.S. Coast Guard station in Brigantine.

On Sunday, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center put out a press release announcing the dead whale was most likely hit by a vessel.

But not everyone is convinced.

Environmental group Clean Ocean Action believes pre-construction activity on wind turbines may be to blame for all these whales washing up dead on the Jersey Shore.

"Stop all of the sonar, stop all of the pre-construction activity offshore right now, until we can determine whether or not that has had any impact or any part of the cause for all these whales washing up," said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action.

But many of New Jersey's environmental groups are pushing back warning people not to link offshore wind work with whale deaths, calling such associations "unfounded and premature."

New Jersey's governor agrees, saying he does not think undersea preparations for offshore wind farms should be halted.

Despite facing political pressure to pause the projects, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is hosting this morning's press conference.

They say it's to dispel false narratives about offshore wind farms while discussing the man-made dangers that whales have faced for a long time including climate change and vessel strikes.

That press conference is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

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