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Jennette Gayer,
Environment Georgia

217 Atlantic Coast Environmental Groups and Other Stakeholders Unite Behind Atlantic Offshore Wind

For Immediate Release

Savannah, GA—Today, 217 environmentalists, conservationists, clean energy advocates, businesses, and local and state officials from up and down the Atlantic Coast are united in calling for bold action to accelerate the development of offshore wind.  The coalition released a letter to the Obama Administration to show strong support for progress made to date and to urge continued leadership to ensure we see several wind farms spinning off our coasts within the next few years.

“There are vast untapped reserves of wind energy off our coast that we can capture to reduce pollution and grow the clean energy economy,” said Jennette Gayer, Policy Advocate with Environment Georgia.  “Our letter shows broad agreement among environmental groups and a diversity of other stakeholders in calling on our state and national leaders to act to steadily ramp-up the development of offshore wind.”

The letter notes the need for federal leadership to move away from fossil fuels that threaten our environment, public health and national security.  It applauds the Administration for its efforts over the last year, specifically the actions of Secretary Salazar and the Department of the Interior for its “Smart from the Start” initiative.  “Smart from the Start” designates appropriate areas for wind development in federal waters off the coast of six Atlantic states—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

As residents of a barrier island impacted by the effects of climate change, we encourage all coastal communities to support the inexhaustible, clean energy that offshore wind can provide,” explained Paul Wolff a member of the Tybee Island City Council. “Replacing fossil fuels with renewable generation systems is essential to maintaining our quality of life in a fragile environment.”

“Conservationists of all political stripes are united behind offshore wind as a winner for America’s wildlife, public health and economy,” said Catherine Bowes, the senior manager for new energy solutions at the National Wildlife Federation. “Clean energy solutions are critical to protecting our wildlife, fish and natural resources for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.”

While much progress has been made along the Atlantic Coast, it is critical to build on the momentum of the last year and continue to prioritize environmentally sound development of our offshore wind energy resources.  The coalition calls on the Obama Administration to:
•    Support federal financial investments to spur offshore wind development;
•    Set a bold goal for offshore wind in the Atlantic;
•    Ensure that offshore wind projects are sited, constructed and operated responsibly;
•    Provide DOI and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management with sufficient staff and resources, and
•    Prioritize coordination to secure a market for offshore wind power.

“We stand together and ready to work with the Obama Administration and state officials to advance offshore wind as part of a comprehensive plan to put America on a path to a truly clean energy future,” concluded Gayer.