Interior plan for NY offshore wind draws fire

By Heather Richards | 03/01/2024 06:41 AM EST

A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management review of offshore wind off the state’s coast is sparking criticism from fishermen.

A scallop dragger off the coast of Massachusetts.

A scallop dragger is pictured. Scallop fishermen are concerned about proposed offshore wind farms off of New York. Putneypics/Flickr

The Interior Department is failing to protect scallop fisheries in the mid-Atlantic from what could be a boom in offshore wind, according to industry workers in the New York region.

The criticism came after the release of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft analysis of the possibility of an estimated 1,000 offshore wind turbines in the New York Bight, a shallow wedge of ocean between the state and New Jersey. The area is being eyed for several offshore wind farms because of leases sold by the Biden administration in 2022.

“It is beyond reasonable dispute [that] the scallop fishery will be the most adversely affected fishery from wind development in the New York Bight,” the Fisheries Survival Fund, which represents scallop fishermen, wrote in a Monday letter to the agency.


BOEM this week said it would extend the public comment period on the draft programmatic environmental statement for the New York Bight until March 13, following requests for more time from tribes and other members of the public.