Protect US Fishermen, 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, launched a new website Monday.
Visitors to protectUSfishermen.org will find details not only about current efforts to locate wind farms off the coast of Oregon, but also about the sustainable seafood industry and its positive impacts on the economy and food safety.
For those wishing to gain a broad understanding of the debate surrounding offshore wind, the site provides a comprehensive overview. Those wishing to dig deeper can click on a variety of links to well-researched studies and positions from credible sources around the world.
Heather Mann, executive director of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative and coalition member, is concerned that many Oregonians are unaware of the damage offshore development could cause and hopes the website will help raise awareness in the audience.
“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.
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.
“I’m not sure people in the Valley actually understand what’s at stake here,” said Josh Whaley, a third-generation angler from Brookings, Ore. “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 fishing. 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.
People who want to get involved in the effort will find several options listed on the website, including contact information for elected officials, a petition urging the federal government to slow the rush for offshore wind, and more.
Visitors to the site will also find a list of coalition members, including links to many organizations. A dedicated news and updates page includes links to resolutions passed by city, county and tribal representatives along the Oregon Coast who share concerns about the process currently used by the Bureau. of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) as it rushes with an aggressive offshore wind agenda.
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 https://www.protectusfishermen.org.
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