Wind energy can help New Jersey kick its fossil fuel habit

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released the final results of its 18-month ecological survey of the waters off New Jersey— one of the precursors to developing an offshore wind farm in this state.

This is an important step forward for wind energy in New Jersey.

Without a doubt, the biggest threat to New Jersey’s avian and marine life is climate change. And offshore wind is an important strategy to reduce global warming pollution and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

With the recent oil spill in the gulf, it has become more painfully clear than ever that we need to move full steam ahead toward clean, renewable energy and kick our fossil habit once and for all.

Given that New Jersey has some of the best offshore wind potential in America and has so much to lose from sea-level rise associated with climate change, it makes sense that we are leading the way toward a cleaner, safer wind-powered future.

The DEP study details sensitive offshore areas and documents species that call the Jersey Shore home.

This data will help inform the development of offshore wind farms in a way that protects New Jersey’s rich coastal ecology.

During [a June 18] presentation, DEP officials noted that while no offshore wind projects currently exist in America, offshore wind has operated successfully in Europe for over two decades.

European studies indicate that offshore wind has little to no negative impact on the health of animal species and actually creates artificial reefs that support fish and mammal populations.

Matt Elliott Environment New Jersey