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Congressman Van Drew Issues Statement on Eight Dolphin Strandings on South Jersey Beach

Contact: Ashley Brown (202) 225-6572

Sea Isle City, NJ - Today, Congressman Van Drew issued the following statement after eight dolphins washed up and died on a Sea Isle City beach yesterday, and reiterated his call for a moratorium on all offshore wind projects until adequate investigations are held. 

"When half a dozen whales washed ashore on South Jersey beaches, and I questioned the possibility that offshore wind development could be a factor causing this, I was labeled a 'conspiracy theorist.' Now, three months later, there are over twenty whales that have washed ashore on the East Coast, and just yesterday eight dolphins washed up in the same concentrated area," said Congressman Van Drew. "It is irresponsible for federal agencies to continually tell the public that there is no connection whatsoever between offshore wind surveying and these tragic marine mammal deaths without providing actual evidence and facts backing up the assertion. 

"We are not even in the construction stage of these industrial wind turbine grids, yet we are already witnessing a highly unusual mortality rate of these intelligent marine animals. In what world does National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) think it is okay to approve these massive construction projects right in the middle of their feeding and breeding grounds, as well as migration routes? The numbers of deaths we are witnessing are staggering, and the concentration of where the animals have washed up raises serious and legitimate questions as to what role offshore wind surveying may be doing to the hearing of these mammals. NOAA and BOEM cannot keep hiding behind the response that the public just needs to 'trust them.' These agencies have provided no definitive proof; I know South Jersey and I know our ocean. We have never seen events like these in all the years I have lived here, and I am not going to just accept their vague response as fact. 

"We need a moratorium on all offshore wind projects before this gets worse, and I have introduced a resolution calling on Congress to do just that. NOAA needs to make a good-faith effort to engage locally and provide facts of what is happening before they lose the public's trust in their ability to protect our oceans and its marine life."