Protect Our Coast New Jersey (POCNJ) will hold a news conference and walk at the 35th Street beach in Ocean City at noon on Sunday, Sept 10, according to a news release.
The event is just one day before offshore wind developer Orsted is scheduled to begin drilling test holes along the 35th street corridor in Ocean City for an underground transmission cable that will link the wind turbines with the land-based power grid.
This testing, along with offshore surveys that have allegedly been linked to whale and dolphin deaths, is preconstruction activity for Ocean Wind 1, an industrial project encompassing 98 towering wind turbines off the Jersey Coast extending from Atlantic City to Stone Harbor.
Members of the POCNJ grassroots group, along with invited guests, will deliver remarks and answer questions and provide an update on recently filed state and federal lawsuits. Following the news conference, participants will walk along the path of the cable route from the oceanfront to the Ocean City bayfront.
Since 2016, when industrial wind survey work began off the East Coast, 213 humpback whales have died along the East Coast, according to the release.
The underground cable route will come ashore at 35th Street, then transit west to Bay Avenue, north on Bay Avenue to Roosevelt Boulevard, west across Peck Bay at Roosevelt Boulevard (34th St) Bridge.
The cables will transit Ocean City Green Acres land, land that was taken from the city and allocated to Orsted by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. This land easement and diversion was granted after the State Legislature stepped in and voted to strip the Ocean City Council of its home rule authority in 2021.
After crossing the island of Ocean City, the underground electrified cables will then continue on to Route 9 to property near the former B.L. England Generating Station in Upper Township.
Protect Our Coast NJ said in the news release that it agrees with the position taken by Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian.
In a statement to the community he said, “I want to remind you all that the offshore wind company Orsted has the go-ahead to begin digging test holes on 35th Street starting September 11. Our state leaders still have not heard from the BPU about what this is going to cost and what it’s going to deliver in return.”
He continued, “Everybody in the entire state who pays an electric bill will be footing the bill. Everybody will pay more. We just have no idea how much. I think we can all agree that clean energy is a worthy goal, but proceeding so blindly and quickly with this project is reckless.”
10:00am – All volunteers are to check-in.
12:00pm – The press conference will commence with introductions and the pledge of allegiance and should wrap up with questions by 1:15pm.
Immediately following, the attendees will invite everyone to walk the offshore wind cable route and then return to the beach for family fun.
Some of the invited guests include (not all will speak):
- Congressman Jeff Van Drew
- Senator Mike Testa
- Assemblyman Erik Simonson (unable to attend)
- Commissioner Bobby Barr
- Judge Michael John Donahue (unable to attend)
- Mayor Jay Gillian
- Activist Mike Dean
- Bruce Afran
- Harry Vanderslice
- POCNJ officials
- Local, regional and national news outlets have been invited.
- There will be merchandise and informational handouts available.