The US government has granted America’s offshore wind industry a sweeping licence to destroy thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and more – while permanently trashing critical marine environments in the process.
The damage done starts with seismic surveys carried out pre-construction and continues as hundreds of 240m high turbines are punched into the seabed and trenches are ripped up for transmission cabling.
The industry euphemistically calls the direct and indirect harm caused to marine mammals “harassment”, when ‘pointless slaughter’ would be a more accurate description.
Bear in mind there is no commercial value for electricity that cannot be delivered as and when consumers need it; the only ‘value’ attached to wind power is the massive taxpayer and power consumer subsidies collected by generators. Cut the subsidies and this so-called ‘industry’ would disappear in a heartbeat.
As Constance Gee explains below the US government is complicit in what, once upon a time, would have been treated as an environmental outrage.
‘Take’ authorizations prove NOAA is lying about whale deaths
East Bay RI
22 March 2023
The marine science community knows this much for certain: The high-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys used to site offshore wind turbines and transmission cabling causes harm and mortality to marine mammals. They know the intense noise of pounding thousands of monopiles deep into the seabed, along with an exponential increase of vessel traffic during construction and for maintenance afterwards will do the same—disturb, injure, and kill marine life.
Here’s the proof: As of mid-March 2023, NOAA Fisheries has handed out 15 marine mammal Incidental Take Authorizations (ITAs) to offshore wind projects from NC to MA. These will allow companies to “take” 111,817 whales, dolphins and seals. The harassment, injury, and killing of marine mammals are referred to as “takes.”
The 111,817 figure is the tally of 118 “Level A” and 111,699 “Level B” takes. Level A includes permanent hearing loss and other bodily injury. Level B harassment includes behavioral disturbance (such as frightening an animal from its normal feeding area) and temporary hearing loss. A deafened whale fleeing into a shipping channel is likely a dead whale.
It is illegal to take any federally listed animal, that is, unless one applies for and is granted an ITA. An “incidental” take is defined as, “an unintentional, but not unexpected taking of a protected species.”
NOAA is in the final stages of approving an additional 1,272 Level A and 477,285 Level B takes of marine mammals for another 11 wind projects. Soon the approved ITA count will permit wind companies to disturb, injure or cause the death of 590,374 marine mammals. These figures were compiled by carefully searching 26 individual wind project ITA requests. NOAA either does not have or will not share cumulative take numbers.
The data reveals that NOAA has either granted or is in the final stages of granting Level B takes for 915 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which there are only 334 remaining animals alive. Either this means NOAA and the wind companies expect repeated harassment (including recurrent hearing impairment) of numerous right whales, or they have not taken the trouble to realize they have granted more “takes” than the number of live whales who exist today.
A total of 387 A and 21,704 B takes have been or are close to being approved for whales. These numbers include the taking of five species of endangered whales. For eight dolphin species A takes total 140; B takes total 474,605. A takes total 658 for harbor porpoise; B takes total 24,122 porpoises. A takes total 205 harbor, grey, and harp seals; B takes total 68,553 seals.
The numbers of “not unexpected” harassment and injury of marine mammals are staggering.
NOAA states in its February posting of Sunrise Wind’s ITA request (NOAA-NMFS-2023-0012): “Project activities likely to result in incidental take include pile driving…and vessel-based site assessment surveys using HRG equipment.”
Still NOAA has only one answer to the question being asked by thousands of coastal residents as to whether wind companies’ recent seismic testing might be related to the highly unusual number of whale strandings: NO.
Why are they lying?
East Bay RI
6 thoughts on “US Government Grants Wind Industry Licence to Kill Thousands of Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises & Seals”
The government should have no right to issue permits that will result in knowingly murdering marine life including completely wiping out an entire species which are endangered. Our government has over stepped it’s boundaries. We must stop this from happening
How can we stop this? Please help us save our mammals of the sea . They need our help!
I grew up when the Environmentalist organization’s became eco-terrorist organizations against anything that caused interruptions of native wildlife habitats and migration patterns wherever mining, logging, transportation and fossil fuels were involved. Since then, they got on-board with everything under Renewable Green Energy that demonized fossil fuels and ignore the slaughtering of wildlife or migration pattern disruptions, because if they cared about it, it would make them hypocrites.
If hiding thousands of turbine related eagle fatalities and millions of bird fatalities annually is not bad enough, there is much more wind industry and Department of Interior fraud taking place.
Whales do not migrate through wind farms. So if whales do not migrate through the massive offshore wind farms in Europe, they also do not use these areas for breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering or what the Interior Department classifies as (Level B harassment). In others words, they want nothing to do with these areas.
The Regulations.gov disclosures deliberately hid this information from the public along with the long term impacts Offshore wind projects will have on marine mammals.
The East Coast Wind farms will have permanent and devastating impacts to regional marine mammals that hasn’t been disclosed. Migration patterns, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering will be all impacted as migrating species swim wide of wind farms on their journeys. Wind farm habitat will be denied to them. Their avoidance from the infrasound will extends far out from wind farms.
When all the impacts are added up over the decades, mortality to marine mammals will exceed hundreds of thousands.
How far will migrating whales swim away from wind farms, in order to avoid offshore wind turbine infrasound? Nobody knows because the green criminals routinely avoid research that will impact developments and their offsetting mitigation. I would expect it to be miles from any infrasound.
I would also expect that morality will increase from collisions with vessels from whales finding new migration routes and increased mortality for all marine species as historical habitat and feeding areas are taken from them with the presence of wind turbines.
I hope someone somewhere is taking names, because when this hoax finally blows up, we’ll need some Nuremberg style trials, with Nuremberg style retribution.
This is sickening ! We certainly do !