Climate Activists And Fishing Industry Clash Over Long Island Wind Farm

Jan 14, 2021

On Long Island, the East Hampton Town Trustees met this week to hear comments from community stakeholders on draft agreements with the developers of the South Fork Wind Farm.

Orsted and Eversource have agreed to pay the town nearly $29 million over 25 years to bury a high-powered transmission cable under Wainscott Beach. Labor representatives say it’s a win-win for the trustees to sign.

Mariah Dignan is the Long Island organizer for Climate Jobs New York.

"This is the clear option to responsibly develop offshore wind energy while creating good union jobs. This outsourcing project is crucial in serving a local demand for energy. It is also New York's inaugural offshore wind project and sets the stage for offshore wind development in the state," Dignan said.

The proposal met opposition from some residents, who have considered incorporating Wainscott into a village to claim control over the beach.

Bonnie Brady is executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. She says the East Hampton Town Trustees should wait to see a stronger management plan for fisheries.

"To date, there is not an effective fisheries mitigation plan. There is not an effective program for compensation for lost year and/or for survey work and what happens to fisherman when they aren’t allowed to fish in their areas," Brady said.