AVALON – Two days after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a virtual public hearing concerning the environmental impact of wind farms off New Jersey’s coast, residents used the public comment period of Avalon Borough Council’s April 14 meeting to express opposition to the project.
Orsted, a Danish company, is planning a wind energy farm off the New Jersey coast, which would use 98 large wind turbines at intervals of 1 mile, stretching from Atlantic City to Stone Harbor, and potentially south to Cape May. The required federal permit approvals led to BOEM’s public hearing.
Comments from Avalon residents ranged from aesthetics to negative environmental impacts. Some also spoke of the economic impact of a project that promises temporary job creation at the expense of long-term potential harm to the tourist economy and fishing industry.
Predicting an “industrialized ocean view,” a potential negative impact on oceanfront home values, and a “jaw-dropping” impact on migratory birds, fishing and sea mammal breeding, residents called on the council to hold a special meeting on the wind farm project, as a means of educating the public and the council to its dangers.