On behalf of the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders), Monterey Bay Aquarium, Morro Coast Audubon Society, National Audubon Society (Audubon), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ocean Conservation Research, Sierra Club California, Surfrider Foundation, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and our millions of members and supporters, we submit these comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM’s) Call for Information and Nominations (Call or Notice) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Morro Bay, California, East and West Extensions (Morro Bay 399). Our organizations are united in support of responsibly developed offshore wind energy as a critically needed climate change solution and we continue to advocate for policies and actions needed to bring it to scale in an environmentally protective manner.
The continued extraction and consumption of fossil fuels has come at a great cost, exacerbating climate change, polluting air and water resources, and significantly harming public health and wildlife, among other impacts. In our ocean, climate change is already bleaching coral, displacing species, increasing incidents of harmful algal blooms, causing marine heat waves, and acidifying the water, making it harder for shell-building organisms like oysters to grow shells and survive. California is already experiencing these global changes. Already marine heatwaves, like the “Blob” have caused massive seabird die offs, declines in forage fish, starving marine mammals, and harmful algae blooms that shut down California 2 fisheries.1 We must embrace clean energy industries, such as offshore wind, while prioritizing protections that will help defend already stressed marine life.