This research examines the impact of offshore wind power projects on beach recreation on the East Coast of the United States. Data was collected from a 2015 online survey of 2,051 randomly drawn residents over 20 states on the east coast. The data were stratified to oversample beachgoers, but included non-beachgoers as well. Respondents were shown visual simulations of offshore wind power projects as they would have appeared on a beach they recently visited and were asked how their presence would have affected their beach trips. A summary of the findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page.
Documents from New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection scientists have opposed wind energy development in the Delaware Bay, which could cut down an Ocean County firm's plans for 106 wind turbines there. Delsea Energy continues to push for the project and has applied for the right to measure wind and other bay-related data that could lead to the turbines' construction there. However, DEP scientists and the Atlantic Flyway Council have raised concerns about the effect the project would have on wildlife. A DEP assistant commissioner wrote last month "that the Delaware Bay is not an appropriate area for development of wind energy." Scott Brubaker, the DEP's assistant commissioner for land use management, informed Delsea Energy in this Aug. 20 letter "that the Delaware Bay is not an appropriate area for development of wind energy." The full letter with attachments can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Follow-up e-mails between the wind developer and NJ DEP can also be accessed.
During the past 15 months, this Blue Ribbon Panel has identified myriad costs and benefits related to development of offshore wind turbine facilities in New Jersey’s coastal waters. Because of the lack of basic scientific data, however, this Panel cannot characterize the appropriateness of offshore wind development for this state’s coastal waters. Nonetheless, this Panel has found that New Jersey is facing a serious and growing energy crisis that must be addressed. New Jersey must assume a leadership role and set an example of responsible development of energy technologies that are reliable, renewable, and low-or zero-emission.
"Offshore wind power development has potential to generate a series of quantifiable environmental benefits. These benefits appear significant in both absolute and monetized terms, but are arguably marginal relative to the scale of existing energy production and emissions affecting New Jersey's environmental and natural resources. Offshore wind power development also presents a series of potential environmental costs. In the absence of a developed literature, the scale of many of these costs are not readily quantified or monetized, making the nature of these impacts highly uncertain and necessitating additional research." (page 70)
New Jersey Audubon Society (NJAS) and its 20,000 members generally support environmentally-responsible renewable energy sources, such as wind power, photovoltaic cells, geothermal and hydro-fuel cells. Because traditional energy sources contribute to global climate change, habitat change and degradation, smog pollution, mercury contamination in our waterways, and radioactive waste, NJAS recognizes the importance of developing emission-free sources of energy. However, we are concerned about the potential impacts of these developing technologies on wildlife, and natural habitats.
This case, before the New Jersey Superior Court, represents one of the first instances of a nuisance case brought against an operating wind turbine due to noise. The court found that the defendants' wind turbine constituted an "actionable nuisance".