Protect US Fishermen has launched a new website to outline concerns about proposed wind power projects off the Oregon coast and educational opportunities about the sustainable seafood industry.
The organizers of Protect US Fisherman describe themselves as an informal coalition of more than two dozen organizations concerned about the environmental and economic impacts of offshore wind farm projects in the Pacific Ocean.
Visitors from protectUSfishermen.org will find details not only about the current push to place wind farms off the coast of Oregon, but also about the sustainable seafood industry and its positive impacts on the economy and food security, according to the statement. .
“For those wishing to gain a broad understanding of the debate surrounding offshore wind, the site provides a comprehensive overview,” the statement said. “Those wishing to pursue the matter further can click on a variety of links to well-researched studies and positions from credible sources around the world.”
Midwater Trawlers Cooperative executive director Heather Mann and a coalition member said she is concerned that many Oregonians are aware of the damage offshore development could cause and hopes the website will help. to raise public awareness.
“In a state as environmentally conscious as Oregon, I find it troubling that the administration and many lawmakers ignore or simply ignore the well-documented science about the negative impacts on the marine environment of wind farms,” said Mann.
She cited the direct threat to the California Current ecosystem as an example of the serious concerns visitors to the site can read about.
Mann said the website is the next step in a growing information-sharing effort that already includes a Facebook page, YouTube channel and live events. Billboards, digital advertising and print media are part of the coalition’s September campaign before the Oregon Legislature assesses the future of offshore wind energy in the coming months.
Although Oregon’s coastal communities have had a significant focus on offshore wind development, the website aims to educate people in other parts of Oregon and throughout the West Coast, according to the release.
“I’m not sure people in the Valley actually understand what’s at stake here,” said third-generation Brookings angler Josh Whaley. “The environmental community has remained largely silent about the very real risks to the marine environment, including endangered whales and seabirds, and the habitat that supports sustainable fisheries. As a fisherman, I care deeply about the health of the oceans and this effort to educate Oregonians will hopefully lead to more informed decisions about how we move to net zero emissions.
Anyone interested in joining the effort will find several options listed on the website, including contact information for elected officials and a petition urging the federal government to slow the rush for offshore wind.
The website also offers a list of coalition members, including links to many organizations. A dedicated news and updates page includes links to resolutions passed by representatives of cities, counties and tribes along the Oregon Coast who share concerns about the process currently used by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), whose statement said, “is rushing with an aggressive offshore wind program.”
To learn more about concerns about offshore wind farms, the impact of sustainable seafood on the nation’s food supply, and the positive impacts of fishing on coastal communities and the state of Oregon, visit www.protectUSfishermen.org.