Among the many things that have been discussed about the erection of 32 574-foot high wind turbines on Galloo Island is the effect such machines might have on birds of prey and song birds. We should not miss the probable devastating effect they would have on waterfowl, primarily ducks and geese.
These birds are covered by restrictions imposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and international treaties between the United States, Canada and Mexico. This agency did a partial study in 2016 of nighttime migration of waterfowl, which included a site in our area. The data taken in the fall of the year suggested a strong nocturnal migration directly across Lake Ontario and Jefferson County.
This study site had a higher overall number of migrating waterfowl than other sites studied, resulting in a potentially high likelihood of interaction between the migrating animals (waterfowl) and the wind turbines. The agency recommends additional studies using up-to-date methods at the actual site. Therefore, very careful consideration should be given to the potential risk posed by wind energy development to migrating animals in this unique area.
Galloo Island is directly in the path of tens of thousands of migrating animals that use the St. Lawrence Flyway, with the river as their road map.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposes restrictions on hunters, limiting their take based on population numbers. The windmills will have no limits or respect for species.
It is imperative that additional studies be conducted at the actual site using the most modern methods to understand the magnitude of the loss to be expected from this project and its effect on waterfowl numbers in the Eastern region of the United States.