Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Massachusetts
Overwhelming, too, for Al Eagles, a lobsterman from Newport, who questioned why the federal government is allowing projects to go forward when so little is known about their effects. “To me, everything you said up here was all unknowns,” Eagles said to Hare. “We could be devastating entire species out there. By the time we realize it, it would be too late.” Lanny Dellinger, also a Newport lobsterman and chair of a board that advises Rhode Island coastal regulators on fishing issues related to offshore wind, said the entire fishing industry is under threat.
Advocates and legislators gathered Monday to discuss the threats facing North Atlantic right whales and to call for more conservation efforts.
Locally, Massachusetts and Rhode Island commercial and recreation fishermen continue to be concerned about the lack of habitat and fish studies before development starts in wind farm lease areas.
Project officials late Wednesday announced that they had been informed by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) that “they are not yet prepared to issue” the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 800 megawatt project.
The Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership claims that the 84-turbine offshore wind project soon to be developed by Vineyard Wind lacks scientific backing and will inevitably harm the local ecology and way of life for fishermen and boaters.
Vineyard Wind says it will adopt research measures recommended by a local university to monitor the effects on fisheries of the 84-turbine offshore wind farm.
In a March 15 letter, Michael Pentony, the head of the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, warned that the report on Vineyard Wind completed by the U.S Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in December included conclusions that were not well supported by data and needed additional analysis of several key angles of impact.
Brady said the Block Island Wind Farm, owned by Deepwater, is only five turbines, tiny by comparison to Vineyard. Yet charter fishermen, who traditionally operate south of the wind farm from January through April, reported a dismal fishing season: the once bountiful cod had disappeared. Ørsted Energy, the parent company of Deepwater, like the owners of the Vineyard, have a practice of paying off fishermen whose livelihoods are damaged by the wind farms.
While the newly discovered right whale gatherings have attracted scientists studying population trends, food sources and more, the information arose because state offshore wind energy officials want to answer some basic questions. The four-year study sets baseline data about marine wildlife in the lease areas, and that information could be used in federal and state environmental permitting in the future, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Offshore Wind Director William White said.
In this District Court ruling, Judge Reggie Walton found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in their reviews of the offshore wind project. The court remanded the case to FWS to independently evaluate a shutdown of turbines during migratory bird season. The court also ruled that NMFS can no longer avoid fully evaluating impacts to right whales and must formulate and issue an incidental take statement because of the documented presence of this highly endangered species in the area. The conclusion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Federal agencies violated Endangered Species Act and must go back to the drawing board to evaluate impacts and protection measures for birds and right whales. ...The plaintiffs have long argued that Nantucket Sound is the wrong place for this project. The court's decision requires the federal government to go back to the drawing board to take the required hard look at the impacts that make Cape Wind's proposal so harmful for the environment.
With planes and underwater recordings, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has been cataloguing which marine mammals and turtles pass through two offshore areas set aside for wind turbine development. The survey aims to paint a full picture of the underwater residents of these energy areas in order to make sure the whales, dolphins and turtles are not disturbed by any turbines that will be driven into the seabed.
The technology lets researchers track all of the tagged birds on one frequency but identify them separately, including 600 birds and bats tagged by other researchers in the Gulf of Maine. ...The Nantucket Sound pilot project is designed to help researchers figure out what marine and coastal birds are doing and where they are doing it offshore, said Caleb Spiegel, a biologist with the wildlife service, which is supporting the work.
EAST SANDWICH - The view from Spring Hill Beach includes pieces from a complicated puzzle: large wind turbines, tiny birds and David.
As the permitting process for a wind turbine at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is about to begin, I still can't connect the dots with regard to common sense here. ...Seems so hypocritical to me since, according to its website, Wellfleet Audubon's woodlands attract a wide variety of wildlife, especially songbirds and shorebirds. But apparently a wind turbine isn't in conflict with nature? Really?
The whales have also caught the attention of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is overseeing wind farm lease areas off the Vineyard and Rhode Island, and has commissioned the New England Aquarium to do an aerial survey, according to Tim Cole, a research fisheries biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Environmental advocates and wind energy companies in New England said Thursday they are working on an agreement to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale during offshore development in New England - the same day that 15 of the rare mammals were spotted near Wellfleet.
Bird deaths by the town's wind turbines are causing concern among local birders even though some favor alternative energy. Photos of dead birds were taken by Windwise, which opposes the turbines, and e-mailed to the Advocate. On Tuesday, Windwise member Ken Pottel said someone from the state environmental police is looking into it.
With fewer than 500 known individuals, North Atlantic right whales are the most endangered of the great whales in the North Atlantic. The death of even one whale from human causes sets back the recovery of the species, especially if the lost whale is a female.
A study by Jason Horner in the Journal of Wildlife Management revealed that rather than flying through the turbines the bats hung around to forage. The study in Alberta revealed that 90 percent of the dead bats at the base of the turbines had severe lung damage with no external injuries. ... Bats in the Northeast have an even bigger problem - the fungal disease known as white nose syndrome.