Wind Farm Lease Public Meetings Planned

Photo courtesy of BOEM

Should the federal government lease ocean bottomland south of eastern Long Island to wind farm developers?

Fishermen and other East End residents will have two chances to meet with federal and state officials in coming days to learn more about the issue and comment in person at meetings slated for the South Fork next week.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold two “fisheries outreach meetings,” one on Wednesday, July 11 at the Montauk Community Playhouse at 240 Edgemere Street from 4 to 8 p.m., with presentations planned from 5 to 6 p.m. and “poster stations and information exchange” from 6 to 8 p.m.; and a second meeting on Thursday, July 12 at the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock at 333 Dune road in Hamptons Bays, also from 4 to 8 p.m. with the same schedule.

The BOEM is seeking expressions of interest or “nominations” from companies interested in leasing ocean bottom in order to develop commercial wind farms on four designated tracts between Long Island and New Jersey. One of them lies 15 miles south of the South Fork. The rest are further south and west.

The sites BOEM may would available for wind farm projects are not where Deepwater Wind, the developer of an existing wind farm off the south coast of Block Island, is planning a larger wind farm to serve the South Fork. That would be located well to the southeast of the Block Island site.

The BOEM is seeking comments on “site conditions, resources and multiple uses in close proximity to, or within the Call Areas, that would be relevant to the BOEM’s review of any nominations submitted,” according to its website. “Call areas” are the locations initially identified by the BOEM as appropriate for commercial wind farm leases.