We don’t know: Senator says state should pause ocean wind farm until it knows for sure what is killing the whales

Photo of dead whale that washed ashore in Brigantine. Photo by MMSC
Photo of dead whale that washed ashore in Brigantine. Photo by MMSC

TRENTON, NJ – In just over a year, South Jersey resident Ed Durr has gone from truck driver to a watchful eye in the Democrat-controlled New Jersey legislature.

Today, Durr cautioned Governor Phil Murphy and others pushing forward on the massive off-shore wind farm at the Jersey Shore to consider what “we don’t know” rather than rely on a study that generalizes a 16-year-whale die-off, which might, or might not be the cause of a recent increase in whale deaths in the New Jersey region.

“Some people are adamantly denying that the sudden surge in dead whales is linked to wind farm survey work, but the truth is they don’t really know,” said Durr (R-3). “We don’t know if sonar or drilling used to conduct surveys of the ocean floor is disrupting the ability of whales to navigate safely, possibly leading to more deadly groundings and vessel strikes. Unless we want to risk more dead whales on our beaches, we should pause the survey work to investigate.”

Governor Phil Murpy has refused to let his foot off the gas pedal and rejected suggestions to temporarily pause the state’s massive off-shore wind farms.

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Some environmentalists and politicians are blaming sonar used on survey vessels off the coast of the Jersey Shore for interfering in the whales’ natural sonar-based biological navigation systems.