Senators advocate that fishermen’s interest be considered earlier in the siting process
Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2018) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) urging the agency to continue to adopt policies for the offshore wind leasing and permitting process that bring fishermen and other marine stakeholders into the conversation early in order to minimize spatial conflicts and reduce the risk of economic harm to the fishing industry. As wind developers lease areas in federal waters for the first time, the Senators contend that existing stakeholders must be thoroughly consulted both before and after leases are granted. In their letter, the Senators point to the Rhode Island’s success fostering collaborative and meaningful engagement, proving that offshore wind and other marine industries can operate in harmony. The Senators note that while BOEM has tried to improve communication between the fishing industry and wind developers, many of their constituents consider the existing efforts to be ineffective.
“Our states understand that smart planning and consultation with stakeholders, particularly the fishing industry, will allow offshore wind to flourish in the United States, protect important ocean resources, and maintain access for existing users,” write the Senators in their letter to BOEM Acting Director Dr. Walter Cruickshank.
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
In their letter, the Senators ask the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to respond to questions that include: