Fishermen, Environmentalists React to Offshore Wind Approval - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fishermen, Environmentalists React to Offshore Wind Approval

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Fishermen and environmentalists in Ocean City are reacting to the Maryland Public Service Commission's decision Thursday to approve plans for the nation's first large-scale offshore wind projects.

Fishermen Monty Hawkins and Wes Pollitt said they have a few questions when it comes to the wind project.

Hawkins said he had some concerns regarding seismic surveys. Something that is used on the ocean floor to measure where to place the wind turbines.

Hawkins said he has seen the effects of these drills and said, "It literally drove the fish out of a very large region where we fish."

Pollitt said he was worried about where they would be able to fish once these turbines are in place. Pollitt said these turbines tend to attract fish, many of which they catch.

"Sea bass, possibly dolphin and other species that congregate around these turbines and will we be able to actually access those turbines to target those species?" he asked.

While the fishermen might have their questions, Matt Heim, director of outreach and administration at Assateague Coastal Trust said, "This is a great opportunity for Maryland to take a big step forward in reducing carbon emissions. And, it's also a great win for our local economy. Offshore wind jobs are great technology jobs."

Heim also stressed that the seismic surveys are far less powerful than ones used on other projects like offshore drilling.

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