Environmental groups host summit on responsible offshore wind development
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Several environment groups across North Carolina and the rest of the nation met today to discuss how to keep the offshore wind projects environmentally safe and mitigate the harmful effects on local communities and wildlife habitats.
The sessions were designed to lead regulators, wind developers, and other stakeholders in responsible offshore wind development.
“The potential for offshore wind in our state is profound, for North Carolina’s economy and the environment. We must match that potential with responsible and mindful planning. This summit will give decision-makers a realistic and science-based perspective on how to assure that offshore wind development co-exists with proper guardianship of our marine wildlife,” said Erin Carey, Director of Coastal Programs, North Carolina Sierra Club.
They currently have leases for offshore wind projects off the coast of Kitty Hawk and Wilmington called “Wilmington East”, and these developments are not expected to be finished until 2028-2030,
However, this summit is to make sure all of the animals that live where the projects will be, infrastructure and transportation will not be affected. This includes:
- Birds and bats
- Marine mammals and turtles
- Fish and benthic habitats
- Transmission, ports, and transportation corridors
Katharine Kollins, President of the southeastern wind coalition said this of the summit. “We’re here to make sure that offshore wind is done responsibly.”
The multiple groups that took part in panels included Audubon. The groups were there to lobby for safe practice when it comes to birds and bats in the areas offshore wind projects are going.
Greg Andeck with Audubon want to “site these projects in the best place as possible. We know there’s going to be some places that are going to have less impact for birds.”
All present for the summit had the goal of making sure offshore wind can coexist with the flourishing environment off of North Carolina’s coast.
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