Locals Weigh in on Offshore Wind

A floating wnd turbine off Aqucadoura, Portugal.
A floating offshore wind turbine located off Aqucadoura, Portugal.
Photo: Untrakdrover, Wikimedia CC.

An informative hearing was held May 3 in Eureka on the proposed offshore wind energy leases that are being considered by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Although BOEM has held many local meetings over the past year, this was the first time that environmental advocates and commercial fishing representatives had a chance to express their views on what could be the first offshore wind development on the West Coast of North America.

Jennifer Savage of Surfrider Foundation said that while “renewable energy is obviously the right thing, we still have to do the right things the right way.”

Other speakers included Noah Oppenheim of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, Anne Hawkins of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, Chet Ogan of Redwood Region Audubon Society, and representatives of the California Coastal Commisison and other state agencies. Several speakers emphasized the need for the best available science to choose a site for offshore wind development, rather than choosing the site based on wind speed and technical feasibility alone.

Thanks to State Senator Mike McGuire and Tom Weseloh, Chief Consultant to the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, for organizing this local hearing that welcomed important voices from near and far.

For more information, visit the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture website under the 2019 hearings tab. To watch the 3-hour hearing in its entirety, go to https://www.senate.ca.gov/media-archive and scroll down to the May 3 Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture hearing.