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Leeman: Maine Must Hit Pause On Offshore Wind Turbines


You wouldn’t buy a house without an inspection, so why would we fill the Gulf of Maine with wind turbine superstructures without understanding how they interact with the marine environment?

Offshore wind energy features too many unknowns to proceed at this point with widescale ocean industrialization. That’s why my organization, the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association (NEFSA) has joined with partner organizations to call on state and federal authorities to reset our renewable energy policy.

The state of Maine is developing a floating offshore wind research array at a 15-square-mile site in the Gulf of Maine. NEFSA and its allies are asking state and federal authorities to delay any further development until experts have monitored and studied the research array. We should rescind the existing Gulf of Maine Call Area and conduct an environmental review for the Gulf of Maine before identifying any commercial wind energy areas.

I’ve been a fishing boat captain for over 20 years. I sailed out of New Bedford, Mass., and have scores of fishermen in my family lineage. From generation to generation, we have upheld a legacy of environmental stewardship and economic dynamism that has maintained the fishing industry in the Gulf of Maine while providing billions for New England’s economy. But every principle of stewardship and hard work we have upheld to preserve our maritime heritage is in jeopardy and could force our region into oblivion.

Thanks to our government and foreign green energy companies, we are on the path to industrialize our most fertile fishing grounds with thousands of wind turbines. The results will significantly impact our ecosystems.

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