Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, July 2005

COZ Legislation Complete

     After more than three years, the Clean Ocean Zone (COZ) proposed written legislation is final.  Now, supporters of the COZ will bring the “NJ/NY Clean Ocean Zone Act” to ocean champions in Washington, DC.  To date, over 10,000 citizens have signed petitions for the COZ and 78 groups and 28 municipalities and environmental commissions support the COZ.  For information, visit

Offshore Wind Update

     The Blue Ribbon Panel finished the first set of hearings and has broken into three subcommittees to discuss specific issues, including Subcommittees: Energy (Jeanne Fox, Chair), Ocean Uses & Environmental Issues (Bradley Campbell, Chair), and Economics & Tourism (Virginia Bauer, Chair).  The Panel is determining if it is appropriate to develop offshore wind turbine facilities off New Jersey’s coast and whether the benefits of offshore wind power to the state are sufficient to outweigh the costs.  A draft report will be published for public comment and hearings before the final draft is submitted to the Governor.

Proposal by Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)

     LIPA has applied to the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), NY District, for a permit to install an offshore wind energy generating facility and submarine electric cables 3.6 miles offshore of Jones Beach Island.  The application was publicly noticed on June 9, 2005, and an electronic copy is available at  Comments are due July 22, 2005.  Public hearings are scheduled.

     The proposed project consists of 40 wind turbine generators on individual steel tower monopiles, with interconnecting submarine electric cables, an offshore electric substation platform, and a submarine electric transmission cable leading from the offshore electric substation to the mainland of Long Island, and then to an existing upland electric substation.  In addition, scour control mats would be placed on the ocean floor around the base of the towers.

     The ACOE’s preliminary determination states that the project may affect four species of sea turtles -- leatherback, loggerhead, green, and Kemp’s Ridley -- or their critical habitat; four species of whales -- North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, fin whale, minke whale; as well as, piping plover, roseate tern, and seabeach amaranth.  COA is reviewing the application.

The Ocean Loses Big in the US Senate Energy Bill

     Despite efforts by NJ and NY’s US Senators, especially US Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), to remove a harmful amendment, the Senate energy bill includes provisions allowing offshore oil and gas exploration in ocean areas that have been under moratoria for almost 25 years.  The inventory includes seismic testing that is equivalent in impact to underwater artillery, causing serious damage to fish, reefs, and other marine life, and could pave the way for permanent rigs in areas currently covered by the offshore drilling moratorium, including the waters off NJ and NY.  Joint House-Senate conference committee deliberations will be held on this bill later this year.  The establishment of the Clean Ocean Zone would prohibit offshore oil and gas activities.

Oil & Water Don’t Mix

     Last month, COA, US Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), Atlantic Audubon Society, and League of Conservation Voters held an event to protest oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge in Alaska and the precedence it would set for drilling in other parts of the US, including off the coasts of NJ and NY.  COA’s Tony Totah highlighted the hundreds of species that would be threatened off NJ’s coast and the importance of a clean and healthy marine environment. 


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