To the Editor:
As a Long Island resident of more that 35 years, I can attest that one of the defining characteristics of my home is its long history with the sea. Long Island was once a whaling center during its colonial era and later became a leading producer of oysters, and the legendary baymen of the south shore lived off the sea for many generations. Long Island’s history and culture is closely tied to the fishing industry.
I visited Block Island this summer and was intrigued by the first offshore wind farm. I learned that the developer Deepwater Wind conducted extensive environmental studies. They partnered with local community groups including the fishing community and made addressing their concerns a top priority. They made modifications to their original building schemes to minimize the environmental impact. The residents I spoke to seemed to be happy with their declining electric bills and the minimal environmental impact. Change is always scary but Deepwater Wind plans to exercise the same caution with the wind farm off Montauk.
For the long-term health of its livelihood, the fishing community should support Governor Cuomo’s renewable energy plans and not try to block offshore wind development. Consider the possible alternative: oil-drilling platforms off Montauk. Fossil fuel extraction and burning present a much greater danger to our fishing industry and environment – and the future of the Earth itself – than offshore wind.
The writer is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University and lives in Massapequa
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