In the race to mitigate climate change, we are experiencing a rapid and unprecedented number of offshore wind energy development proposals in the United States. Atlantic coastal states and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are moving swiftly through the review process in hopes of achieving lofty goals to fulfill staggering amounts of renewable energy production.
From Massachusetts to South Carolina, more than 20 projects totaling over hundreds of thousands of open ocean areas are moving forward in different stages of planning and approvals. While the American Littoral Society understands and supports the need to pursue clean and renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we also caution that the pace of offshore wind must slow down or yield to protections necessary for a healthy ocean. Without proper planning and engagement from everyone with a vested interest – from shore town homeowners to energy developers – would be irresponsible, unsustainable, and ill-informed.
Although offshore wind should be considered environmental protection in and of itself because it is helping to reduce our dependence on dirty and nonrenewable sources of energy, state initiatives for projects and federal agency reviews must still ensure that these projects are carefully sited to avoid harm to marine ecosystems, wildlife and habitats, while also minimizing impacts on such sustainable traditional uses of the ocean as fishing.
Saturday, April 27
10 a.m. - Noon
Gateway National Recreation Area -
Sandy Hook Unit
Highlands, NJ (map)
Free, Open to the Public
Click Here to Register
Celebrate Earth Day by joining the American Littoral Society to plant beach grass on Sandy Hook. Everyone is invited.
The planting will take place at the on the ocean side near the Lot B parking area (map). Signs will be posted to guide participants.
American Littoral Society Joins Environmental and Business Leaders Join Rep. Pallone to Speak Out Against Plans for Drilling in the Atlantic
Asbury Park, NJ – On World Water Day, the American Littoral Society joined NJ Congress man Frank Pallone and others on the Asbury Park, NJ boardwalk to again speak out against Trump administration plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast.
In the coming weeks, the Trump Administration is expected to release a new plan for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024 that will allow drilling for fossil fuels, which would bring the threat of hazardous potential oil spills that could affect the Jersey Shore.
At the rally, Rep. Pallone noted that the President’s offshore drilling plan requires congressional approval and pending lawsuits to halt the plan.
Speaking at the event, Helen Henderson, Ocean Program Manager for the American Littoral Society, said: "Drilling for more polluting fossil fuels does not put America first, it puts the health of our ocean and coast last, risking our economy and millions of jobs. A plan for more oil and gas is a plan to drown more of New Jersey in the rising waters of climate change."
Yesterday, with nearly unanimous votes, New Jersey's General Assembly and Senate passed a bill protecting public access to beaches in the state.
The Littoral Society would like to thank NJ lawmakers for taking this action and the Society looks forward to final endorsement of the bill by Gov. Phil Murphy.
“The beach access bill makes clear that the public has a right to get to and enjoy the waterfronts of New Jersey and that the State should create new public access, enhance existing access, and defend against attempts to block access," said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society. "This bill provides the tools and direction to achieve all those goals, and to open a new chapter in the protection of the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey.”
Three bills supported by the American Littoral Society may see votes in the NJ state legislature on Monday, March 25. They are:
The Littoral Society asks members and supporters to contact their legislators and urge them to vote yes on these bills.
Your participation will support efforts
to protect and preserve the ocean and coast
It's not exactly the tortoise and the hare, but this year's Lobster Run has a new entry: Oysters! But don't worry that they only have one foot, rather than running these bivalves will be waiting at the finish line for those participating in the post-race after-party.
So, lace up your running shoes, dig out your lobster hat, and strap on your oyster bibs for the 4th Annual Lobster Run/Walk 5k to Care for the Coast, on Saturday, April 13 in Asbury Park, NJ.
The run/walk will be followed by an optional after-party and thanks to Forty North Oyster Farms, a raw oyster bar will be part of the lobster themed brunch buffet and drink specials hosted by Langosta Lounge. The menu will also include Lobster Mac & Cheese and Lobster Asparagus Strata.
All event proceeds will benefit the American Littoral Society.
A bill to ban the sale or ownership of shark fins failed to pass New Jersey's legislature last year. The bill was re-introduced in January 2019 and on the last day of that month it passed the state Senate with a 33-6 vote.
Now in the hands of the General Assembly, the bill ( A4845) will be heard on Monday, March 18 in the Assembly Appropriations Committee at the Statehouse in Trenton, Committee Room 11, 4th Floor, State House Annex, starting at noon.
This bill will ban the sale and trade of certain shark fins, which will reduce the chance that foreign shark fins end up in our state. While shark finning itself is banned by federal law, the states must ban the sale and possession of these fins to further protect sharks, which are a vital component of our ocean ecosystem.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee includes Chairman John Burzichelli, Vice Chairman Gary Schaer, and members Herb Conaway, Wayne P. DeAngelo, Gabirela M. Mosquera, Ryan E. Peters, Eliana Pintor Marin, Kevin J. Rooney, Cleopatra G. Tucker, Jay Webber, and Harold J. Wirths.
The American Littoral Society supports this bill and asks you to contact your state legislators to urge them to support its final passage. Click here to find your state legislator and their contact information.
Read more for additional information.
UPDATE: No more volunteers are needed for this work. According to New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection there has been tremendous response to the request for volunteers and volunteer enrollment has been closed.
The NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program is seeking volunteers to install fencing to protect beach-nesting bird habitat. Fencing will last 2-4 hours depending on the site. The work involves pounding posts into sand, tying string and flagging between them and posting informational signage.
Volunteers should be capable of walking long distances in the sand, be dressed for the weather (it's often cold and windy on the beach in spring) and bring their own water and snacks.
Click read more for volunteer dates, times and locations. Fencing will only be postponed if weather is especially bad (wind, cold and light rain will not be enough to cancel).
Wednesday, March 6
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library
121 Washington Street
Toms River, NJ
Free, Registration Required
Join the American Littoral Society and Anglers for Offshore Wind Power for a dynamic night of interaction as we bring together New Jersey’s recreational fishing interests with fisheries liaisons from several current wind developers working in the New Jersey offshore area.
Representatives from the following wind developers are expected: Equinor, Orsted, EDF Renewables, and Shell.
The discussion will focus on offshore wind development issues of importance to the New Jersey recreational fishing community. Conversation topics will include:
What’s happening in our mid-Atlantic ocean on subjects such as wind energy, fishing, commerce and recreation? If you are interested or invested in the answer to that question, join representatives of the American Littoral Society and federal ocean managers for a MACO Ocean Planning Forum on March 20 at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
If you live or work along the Mid-Atlantic Ocean or coast, you have a stake in what happens. Make Your Voice Heard.
The Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) was established by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean to foster collaboration among states, federal agencies, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and federally recognized tribes. The purpose of MACO is to enhance the vitality of the region's ocean ecosystem and economy through increased communication and collaboration.
Click Here for Agenda and Registration