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  • Writer's pictureMichael Torrissi Jr.

Perspective


Perspective/Torrissi in Trenton


Michael Torrissi Jr. Assemblyman 8th District Trenton

Does anyone know how many dead whales and dolphins have washed up along the Jersey Shore recently? Because I’m starting to lose count.


This isn’t to make light of what’s happening on our beaches — it truly is a disgusting and frightening sight — but at what point does it become almost satirical that dolphins and whales can wash ashore on a weekly basis and the state and Governor Murphy will wave their hands to say, “nothing to see here.”

Well I hate to break it to you, but it’s pretty easy to see a whale. This might be one of the hardest issues to distract people from due to the 200,000 pounds of evidence that reveals itself over and over.

At least a dozen whales have washed up along the NJ/NY shoreline this year, along with countless dolphins. There are many theories of how they got there, but the key word is theory. Until we know, we must proceed with caution. That means pausing ongoing offshore wind turbine work.

I don’t think anyone knows for a fact if the start of wind turbine work is causing these deaths, but if it’s not, then it should certainly be ruled out by an expert study. It’s not farfetched to jump to the conclusion that the sound of ocean floor mapping along with the persistence of giant barges could be spiking these whale and dolphin deaths.

There are other theories, including that awareness on whale conservation over the last couple of decades has increased whale populations, and thus, there are more whales that can die.

People have also blamed global warming and the heating of the ocean pushing a whale’s food source closer to land where more freight and fishing ships operate. They say this could lead to more ship strikes of whales. Or it can be a combination of all three.

Our government is more than willing to study global warming, so why is it so hesitant to study the effect ocean wind turbines have on marine life? If we increased the speed limit in a suburban neighborhood and more pedestrians started getting hit by cars, wouldn’t we want to perform a study to see if the increase had anything to do with it? We often get told not to jump to conclusions when something seems fishy, but wouldn’t it be jumping to a conclusion to just rule out wind turbines without a comprehensive study?

I’m no marine biologist. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know one thing - sweeping this under the rug is not, and should not, be an option.


Michael Torrissi Jr.

Assemblyman

8th District

Trenton


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