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Monday, May 27, 2024

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CMCo Chamber Aligns with County Commissioners on Concerns About Offshore Wind Project

An aerial snapshot of the five turbines that make up Ørsted's Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island. Ørsted is the Danish company behind the Ocean Wind 1 project. 
Provided by Ørsted/File Photo

An aerial snapshot of the five turbines that make up Ørsted’s Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island. Ørsted is the Danish company behind the Ocean Wind 1 project. 

By From Cape May County

COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to the County Board of Commissioners indicating the Chamber’s support of Board Resolution 314-23, which indicated the Board’s opposition to the Orsted Ocean Wind One offshore wind project unless and until the legitimate concerns of local stakeholders were satisfied.

The County Chamber in its letter stated that “The County Chamber of Commerce is in full support for Resolution 314-23” and that its Board of Directors “voted overwhelmingly” to support the County’s position. 

“Any offshore wind project must be done responsibly and in collaboration with local communities, including commercial and recreational fishing stakeholders,” said County Chamber President and CEO Barbara Stafford Jones on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is in favor of hitting the pause button to conduct additional studies to fully evaluate the impact on numerous whales, dolphins and other marine mammals that have washed up on our beaches and shoreline. We need to evaluate further the other serious negative visual, environmental and economic impacts that are likely to occur.”

The Orsted Ocean Wind One and Ocean Wind Two offshore wind projects plan to place approximately 200 windmills reaching approximately 1,000 feet high as close as 9 miles off the beaches of Cape May County. Orsted has admitted that the structures will be visible from shore both day and night. Studies have shown that the installation of the windmills will likely have a negative impact on the Tourism and fishing industries in Cape May County. Questions remain about whether or not the activities of offshore wind corporations have lead to an unprecedented number of deaths among whales, dolphins and other marine mammals in recent months.

“It is important that the leaders of our community stand united in our opposition to the Orsted projects as long as so many important questions remain unanswered,” said County Commission Director Len Desiderio. “We have been left with no choice but to take a firm position in defense of our working families, our economy and our environment. Having the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce as a partner in this effort could not be more important. The Chamber has been working since 1916 to promote tourism in Cape May County. Our Tourism industry now faces the greatest threat since the covid pandemic, given the potential negative impacts of the Orsted offshore wind projects. Together with the fisheries industry and other important stakeholders, we will continue to fight to protect our way of life in Cape May County.”

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