Coast Guard studying effects of planned wind farms on marine traffic

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The U.S. Coast Guard is undertaking a large-scale study of government, commercial and pleasure boat traffic up and down the Atlantic coast.

Although the Coast Guard routinely looks at vessel traffic on a port-by-port basis, the study that’s now under way is the first to examine waters beyond port entrances, from Maine to Florida.

As part of the investigation, officials are asking for input from maritime industries, commercial watermen and recreational boaters who operate within 200 nautical miles of the East Coast.

Officials decided to launch the examination about a year ago, around the time that the U.S. Department of the Interior announced “wind energy areas” off the coasts of several Atlantic states. No offshore wind farms are operational yet, but more than a dozen are in various stages of development.

Additionally, the Coast Guard is seeking written guidance from the public. It issued its first call for input in May, noting that some of the wind energy areas “are located in or very near the
traditional routes used by vessels in foreign trade and on Atlantic coastwise transits.”

In its previous request, the Coast Guard received 26 comments, most of which were applicable to the Mid-Atlantic region and did not include information from all stakeholders.

“In addition to the Mid-Atlantic region, the Coast Guard has become aware of private sector interest in developing wind energy and hydrokinetic installations off the coasts of Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida,” the Coast Guard said. “Therefore, it is important that the Coast Guard receive comments on the potential impacts to the maritime community in these locations, as well.”

Comments will be accepted through Jan. 31.

Click here for information.


5 comments on “Coast Guard studying effects of planned wind farms on marine traffic

  1. hightide

    Do you mean the wind turbines that are killing all the eagles and bats
    out west? My My what will they ever do when the turbines start killing
    seagulls and other endangered shore birds. The heavens will fall. LOL

  2. tom

    One Nuclear power plant would replace all the wind farms on the East Coast supplying TWENTY FOUR SEVEN, 365 DAYS of power less planned maintenance downtime. Just another stress factor on the marine environment. The bad part about wind and solar is that it is only part time mostly not there when needed the most. As for Obama’s “smart grid”, that’s another way to get fleeced by transferring power back and forth all day long. Why so we elect unqualified people? Follow the money, GE supports Obama and makes wind turbines, pays no taxes. Wonder who in the power transmission business supports Obama? Please vote intelligently next November.

  3. Rod

    Nuclear is fine as long as you don’t worry about the effects of cooling them. Many power plants (fossil fuel and nuclear) tend to draw water out of the closest body of water (lake, river, or ocean) and after cooling the powerplant, discharge that water back into the enviroment, usually raising the temperture of the surrounding water. Mount Hope Bay on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border has become mostly devoid of fish due to heating of the bay by cooling water run-off from the Brayton Point Powerplant (coal fired, as well as natural gas).
    We very rarely experience earthquakes along the East Coast, but after the big one in Japan, I suspect approval for any more nuke plants along our coast is unlikely (My impression is htat US plants are safer in an earthquake than Japan’s, but try to convince critics of that).

    The general concensus in this country is becoming more anti-nuclear all hte time, and personally…I’d rather have a windfarm in my vicinity than a nuclear plant, not that I’m against nuclear power, I agree that it would be more reliable than wind power, but still…the consequences of an accident at a nuke plant vs consequnces of a windfarm accident are great. Both type of power sources are noisy, but a windfarm offshore would lessen the noise factor to residential areas. Windpower does not generate radioactive waste, has very little if any cooling needs, and the offshore towers will create artificial reefs to attract fish. Plus, think of the great aids to navigation the towers become! Let’s see…where am I? Oh, right near tower #25.
    I got a kick out of the Air Force crying that windmills out on Nantucket sound would adversely affect the PAVPAWS Radar on Cape Cod, yet this Summer they installed 2 huge (bigger that the Cape Wind turbines!) windmills within a mile of PAVEPAWS!

    We desperately need to find clean, relatively affordable sources of electrical power. Is Nuclear the answer? Is Windpower the answer? Are there other answers? Who knows, but due to rampant NIMBYism…….. the answer will be a long time coming! All have their good points and bad points, Nuclear has radiation and heat, wind has visual and birdstrike concerns, plus the wind doesn’t blow constant (that’s why my sailboat has a small outboard!). A relatively small nuclear or fossil-fuel plant might be able to supliment a windfarm….. but I think, as much as I am in favor of windpower, there are still problems to address.

    In closing, to the writer who claimed GE supports Obama because they built wind turbines, don’t forget that GE is also (or at least was?) a huge producer of nuclear reactors! GE makes steam turbines too.

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