WILDWOOD – U.S. Congressman Jeff Van Drew will hold a hearing March 16 to gather information from industries and groups affected by the development of offshore wind energy projects along the East Coast.
Van Drew’s Second Congressional District includes the shore communities in Atlantic and Cape May counties. He will be joined at the hearing by Congressmen Chris Smith of New Jersey and Andy Harris of Maryland.
The hearing will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, March 16 at the Wildwood Convention Center, 4501 Boardwalk in Wildwood.
It is expected to include testimony from representatives or experts of the fishing industry, environmental and energy policy and marine ecosystems.
A representative of the Danish energy company Orsted has also been invited. Orsted is the developer of a proposed wind energy project that will include nearly 100 wind turbines located 15 miles offshore between Atlantic City and Stone Harbor.
Van Drew has called for a moratorium on offshore wind development to allow marine experts to investigate whether activity on the wind projects is connected to a series of whale deaths in New Jersey and other states along the East Coast since December.
Critics of offshore wind projects believe there is a link to the whale deaths, while marine mammal experts have primarily blamed vessel strikes for the fatalities.