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The Lockean Project

Unprecedented Number of Dead Whales as Offshore Wind Proceeds

“Unprecedented Number of Dead Whales as Offshore Wind Proceeds,” Carmel Pine Cone, sent Feb. 7, 2023–not published

Nine dead whales washed up in less than two months on a small section of New Jersey and Long Island shores. This unprecedented number of Humpback and Sperm whale killings evince no signs of disease or injury, but occurred simultaneously with intensifying work in offshore wind turbine development. I worked on whale communication research under contract to the U.S. Navy, and made extensive findings of how vulnerable whales are to persistent underwater sound disturbance. Whales have a robust vocabulary of intricate sounds and simply cannot navigate or communicate when there is sustained underwater interference from human activities, such as required in the surveying and operation stages of offshore wind farms. This tragedy could be recreated in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. According to the Brookings Institute, wind energy is not as environmentally or economically sustainable as nuclear, hydroelectric or combined cycle natural gas.

Dr. C. Michael Hogan, Monterey

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