New Jersey Captain - Reel Therapy
New Jersey just selected its first ever offshore wind project – now is the time for anglers to get engaged so this and future projects can work for us.
The Fourth of July holiday started off with a bang as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) selected a bid to develop the state’s first ever offshore wind power project. After a competitive bidding process, the BPU awarded an 1,100 megawatt project to Danish renewable energy company Ørsted to partner up with PSEG, American supply chain companies and New Jersey-based workers. Once completed, this project will power more than 500,000 homes, delivering clean reliable renewable energy at a competitive price to New Jersey ratepayers. Depending on the technology available at the time of construction, we’d expect around 100 turbines in this wind farm and for it to be operational by 2024.
The board acknowledged that the bid was selected in large part due to the economic development provisions in the project, which included opening a headquarters in Atlantic City.
Most critical to us anglers, though, is that at its closest point, this project will be about 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, Great Egg Harbor and Corson Inlets making it easily accessible for fishing. Note that the lease area shown here represents the exploration area only, actual turbine siting has not been decided yet. This 15 mile distance from shore reduces visual impact, and minimizes conflicts with known migration routes of wildlife as well as marine traffic.
Experience at the Block Island Wind Farm has shown that these turbines start to grow mussels and begin forming habitat and holding fish as soon as they’re installed – even before the turbines are erected. That means, anglers could be catching fish on the newly formed reef habitat at the turbine foundations in just a couple of years from now.
The experience of other Anglers for Offshore Wind Power advocates tells us now is the time to get engaged in the permitting process. In the coming months, we’ll start to see more site-specific plans as well as planned fisheries and environmental studies. We’ll have numerous opportunities at the state, federal and even local level to provide comments on the projects so that they will best serve the interests of recreational anglers. As this is New Jersey’s first project, it’s even more important we get this one right. Be sure to follow Anglers for Offshore Wind Power online, attend meetings and share info with all of your friends.
As a reminder, our principles are:
1.Guaranteed fishing access to the turbine foundations
2.A commitment to scientific fisheries monitoring before, during and after turbine construction
3.Ample opportunity for public input
These aren’t just ideas on paper. As states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island are farther along in the project development process, we’ve:
If you want to support responsible development of offshore wind power that works for recreational anglers, sign our principles today.
NOTICE: Anglers/mariners should be aware of survey operation vessels working in the area and give them a wide berth. They will be towing gear out to 1000 feet behind them. These vessels have restricted ability to Maneuver. (VRAM)