March 2, 2023
TOMS RIVER—Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today issued the following statement in response to another dead whale that washed ashore in Seaside Park in his congressional district earlier this morning:
“At least 18 dead whales and dolphins have washed ashore or been sighted in our area in the past three months.
Anyone who lives at the Jersey Shore knows that these alarming deaths are unprecedented and likely indicative of a larger environmental problem.
How much longer will the Biden Administration and Governor Murphy continue to play politics and ignore the extensive calls from me, local residents, fishermen and other stakeholders for a thorough and transparent investigation into this blatant environmental crisis?
The letters I wrote to the Biden Administration weeks ago urging an immediate pause to all offshore wind activity until ecological safety can be assured continue to remain unanswered.
I will not let up until my constituents get the answers they deserve.”
Smith noted that he is speaking with his colleagues in Congress to advance his bill requiring an investigation into the environmental review process for the offshore wind projects.
“I have already spoken with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman and Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodger,” said Smith. “Congress must pass my legislation—HR 1056—to require an independent investigation into the approval process and environmental impacts of these projects before it’s too late.”
“The scale and speed of these fast-tracked offshore wind developments—with thousands of turbines slated to be installed—calls into question whether due diligence was done to investigate their effect on the environment, fisheries, tourism, and other critical factors that make our Jersey Shore the unique treasure that it is,” said Smith, who spoke at the Save the Whales rally in Point Pleasant Beach last Sunday.
“The fact that these whale deaths are occurring concurrently with the ongoing sound surveys and the underwater noise generated by acoustic vessels—even before construction and pile driving begin—cannot be ignored,” Smith said.