JCAA

      


Letter To : US Dept. of Interior Minerals Management Service
Argonne National Laboratory

900 S. Cass Ave, Argonne, IL 60439

RE: Renewable Energy and Alternate Use Programmatic EIS Scoping

 

by Tom Fote

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association September 2006 Newsletter)

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association ( JCAA) is writing you with comments and issues that should be addressed and analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS ) your agency is in the process of preparing. These written comments are in addition to those made by JCAA at the May 23, 2006 scoping meeting in Trenton, NJ. These comments are being made on behalf of the 75 fishing clubs represented by JCAA.

Recreational fishing in New Jersey evolves more than 1.2 million anglers and generates more than 1 billion dollars to the state’s economy Any renewable energy program or its activities that could adversely impact on the recreational fishery can have serious economic and social impacts on new Jersey as well as decrease its quality of life.

The JCAA has an open mind on the sitting of renewable energy projects in near shore ocean waters. We are concerned over the environmental damage caused by existing power facilities both on land and on estuarine waters. Renewable energy facilities could eliminate many of the existing environmental problems so long as they do not cause other environmental problems.  It was stated at the NJ scooping hearing that wind energy projects will most likely be a few miles to 15 miles offshore.  This is the location where most saltwater recreational fishing takes place. The closer wind generation occurs to shore, the greater the potential conflict with fish habitat and well as spatial conflict with anglers. For example, the placement of any towers to support wind energy will usurp the natural ocean habitat which is a public resource now used by anglers and the wildlife they depends on it.  How does the MMS plan to mitigate for this loss of habitat? Will the agency require the construction of artificial reefs at the base of each tower to increase the production of fish and invertebrate life?

We have identified several areas of interest that require addressing in the EIS. They are as follows:

Impacts of the placement of wind turbine towers on or near existing fishing grounds.  Will such towers prevent recreational fishing in the immediate area?

The loss of natural habitat by the placement of wind towers on the ocean seabed.

Environmental impacts caused by the installation and maintenance of transmission lines between towers and between towers and shore. 

Electro magnetic impacts on marine life caused by the transmission lines. Will these interfere or prevent the migratory movement of fish and benthic organisms? 

Will the tower fields become exclusion zones for anglers either because of national security or safety reasons for navigation

Sincerely

Bruce Freeman

 

 

 

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