Statement: Interior Gives Green Light to Expanded Offshore Wind off the Jersey Shore

Media Contacts

Environment New Jersey

Trenton — The Biden administration today announced it has determined wind farms offshore New Jersey and New York would not pose a major disruption to the local environment, clearing a key hurdle for lease sales in the region. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it has issued a finding of no significant impact for leasing nearly 800,000 acres in the New York Bight. The bight encompasses an area between Cape May in New Jersey and Montauk Point in Long Island.

Interior officials projected offshore wind farms in the Bight could produce more than 7 gigawatts of electricity. The Biden administration has set a broader goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power.

The BOEM assessment projected any effects on recreational and commercial fishing in the area would “range from negligible to minor.” It projected similarly minimal effects on fish, sea turtle and marine mammal habitats. Potential projects would also have little to no impact on public health or safety, according to BOEM, and the bureau found no indication that installations would violate any local, federal or tribal laws governing use of the area. The bureau first announced the New York Bight environmental assessment (EA) in March and published a draft EA in August followed by two public virtual meetings with stakeholders the same month.

Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, issued the following statement:  

“Offshore wind off the Jersey Shore represents a gold mind of clean, renewable energy that we need to harness to power our state with clean energy to fight the climate crisis. We need to develop offshore wind responsibly and today’s BOEM announcement is a green light that you can build offshore wind and minimize environmental impacts to both commercial fishing and marine life. Offshore wind represents the best way for New Jersey to reach our 50% renewable energy mandate by 2030 and BOEM’s completion of the Environmental Assessment shows that we can do right for our ocean environment and move forward with offshore wind.”