New Jersey Gets Offshore Wind Working Group

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has established an environmental resources working group aimed at providing guidance for achieving the state’s offshore wind goals.

The offshore wind working group will include representatives from commercial and recreational fishing industries, conservation organizations, maritime industry, and fisheries councils to provide guidance for the overall strategy and approach to achieving offshore wind goals.

According to DEP, the group will ensure that interested parties have a seat at the table with government officials to help shape New Jersey’s offshore wind strategy and implementation.

Representatives from state and federal governments will serve in an ex officio capacity.

“Offshore wind development is critical to achieving our statewide goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, and it is important that all interested parties have a voice in that process,” said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe.

“By working together with the fishing industry and conservation community in reaching this goal, we can effectively combat the harmful effects of sea-level rise and climate change while preserving critical aspects of our economy and natural resources.”

The aim of the group is to enhance communication and coordination between fishing and conservation communities and state and federal agencies and to share existing data, research and information sources with fishing and environmental groups, DEP said.

It also has a goal of providing a platform for the fishing and conservation communities to have meaningful input to assist the state with decision making, as well as providing information on current uses of proposed offshore wind areas in order to allow DEP and other agencies to better address, and potentially mitigate, any potential conflicts.

As reported, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed an executive order increasing the state’s offshore wind target from 3.5GW by 2030 to 7.5GW by 2035.

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