Feds unveil plan to grow wind power while sparing rare whale

Oct 29, 2022, 7:06 AM | Updated: 7:18 am
FILE - A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod Bay off the coast of Plymouth,...

FILE - A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod Bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., in this March 28, 2018, file photo. President Joe Biden's administration has made a priority of encouraging offshore wind along the Atlantic coast in waters that are home to the declining North Atlantic right whale. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government has outlined a strategy to try to protect an endangered species of whale while also developing offshore wind power off the East Coast.

President Joe Biden’s administration has made a priority of encouraging offshore wind along the Atlantic coast as the U.S. pursues greater energy independence. Those waters are also home to the declining North Atlantic right whale, which numbers about 340 in the world.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a draft plan this month to conserve the whales while allowing for the building of wind projects. The agencies said the ongoing efforts to save the whales and create more renewable energy can coexist.

“As we face the ongoing challenges of climate change, this strategy provides a strong foundation to help us advance renewable energy while also working to protect and recover North Atlantic right whales, and the ecosystem they depend on,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries

The development of offshore wind is going on along the migratory routes of the whales, which travel from Georgia and Florida to New England and Canada every year. That potentially leaves the whales vulnerable to disturbance or injury. The agencies said they plan to provide offshore wind developers with guidance about mitigation measures to help navigate the regulatory process as part of the whale strategy.

The strategy focuses on “improving the science and integrating past, present and future efforts related to North Atlantic right whales and offshore wind development,” said Jon Hare, the director of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and a lead author on the document. It also identifies mitigation measures related to project planning, leasing and siting, he said.

The right whales have been declining in recent years and face threats such as collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. Environmentalist groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, have called for more protections for the whales.

The protection strategy is promising, but it needs funding for implementation and requirements for measures that minimize harm to the whales, said Alison Chase, a senior policy analyst with the council. Those include speed and noise reductions, Chase said.

“We need offshore wind, and we need to do it right,” Chase said. “But as we fight climate change, we must avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to ocean life in whatever ways we can.”

The government will take public comment on the draft strategy until Dec. 4.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Policemen pin down and detain a protester during a protest on a street in Shanghai, China on...
Associated Press

China security forces are well-prepared for quashing dissent

BEIJING (AP) — When it comes to ensuring the security of their regime, China’s Communist Party rulers don’t skimp. The extent of that lavish spending was put on display when the boldest street protests in decades broke out in Beijing and other cities, driven by anger over rigid and seemingly unending restrictions to combat COVID-19. […]
20 hours ago
FILE- The logo of Tesla model 3 is seen at the Auto show on Oct. 3, 2018, in Paris. Tesla delivered...
Associated Press

Tesla delivers electric semis to PepsiCo at Nevada factory

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla delivered its first electric semis to PepsiCo Thursday, more than three years after Elon Musk said his company would start making the trucks. The Austin, Texas, company formally delivered the trucks at a factory near Reno, Nevada. The event was livestreamed on Twitter, which Musk now owns. Musk drove one of […]
20 hours ago
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., updates reporters as Congress moves urgently to head o...
Associated Press

Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to avert what could have been an economically ruinous freight rail strike won final approval in Congress on Thursday as lawmakers responded quickly to President Joe Biden’s call for federal intervention in a long-running labor dispute. The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

EPA proposes restrictions to block proposed Alaska mine

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed restrictions that would block plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region that is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. A statement from the regional EPA office said discharges of dredged or fill material into the waters […]
20 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Ea...
Associated Press

Biden to Dems: Scrap caucuses, promote diversity in primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that Democrats should give up “restrictive” caucuses and move to champion diversity in the order of their presidential primary calendar, dealing a major blow to Iowa’s decadeslong status as the first voting state. In a letter to the rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee, Biden does […]
20 hours ago
***HOLD for Story running Wed. Nov. 30, 2022 *** FILE - A family walks over cracked mud near Lake O...
Associated Press

Drought-hit California cities to get little water from state

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California water agencies that serve 27 million people will get just 5% of what they requested from the state to start 2023, water officials announced Thursday. The news of limited water comes as California concludes its driest three-year stretch on record and as water managers brace for a fourth year with […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Feds unveil plan to grow wind power while sparing rare whale