Environmentalist Groups Don’t Seem to Care About Off-Shore Wind Farms Rumored to be Causing Whale Deaths

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Sep 08, 2023

There has been an increase in humpback and right whale deaths along the East Coast of the United States. 

And while many believe that the new wind farms are to blame, several environmentalist groups, such as Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters, seem to be ignoring the issue. Now, it seems that the environmentalists’ lack of regard for the wind farms and the whales is the real problem. 

President Biden’s Offshore Wind Farms

President Biden has been pushing for more green energy across the board since being elected, and one of the largest projects he’s initiated is several ocean-based wind farms off the East Coast. 


Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Biden and his administration plan to use the several wind farms already built and the many more they have planned to power 10 million homes in America by 2030. 

Are the Wind Farms Really to Blame for the Whale Deaths?

But while wind farms are designed to minimize carbon dioxide emissions and decrease the need for gas and oil in the country, they have a downside—they are dangerous for marine life, and for whales in particular. 


Source: Duke.edu

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently announced “unusual mortality events” regarding humpback and right whales since 2016, the same time Biden’s first wind farms were installed. Experts such as Dan Kish from the Institute for Energy Research state that “All the dead whales are washing up on the East Coast where windmills are destroying their habitat.”

Lacking Evidence to Support the Claim

However, while many believe the wind farms are absolutely to blame for the spike in East Coast whale mortality, the government claims there is no scientific evidence to prove it. Government agencies state that whale deaths are being caused by climate change, plastic pollution, ship strikes, and fishing net entanglements. 


Source: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

However, there are certainly skeptics who theorize that the underwater sonar construction crews used to build the farms disorient the whales, which causes ship-strike injuries that eventually lead to their death. 

Disappointment With the Green Groups’s Lack of Attention to the Issue

Even though no one knows for sure why these whales are dying, many people believe the wind farms are to blame. Surprisingly, a few major environmentalist groups are not only failing to fault the farms, but are actually encouraging their construction.


Source: John Moore/Getty Images

Now, it seems the bigger problem for many is not the building of the wind farms but the fact that the powerful environmental groups are flat-out ignoring the problems they are causing. 

Why Don’t Environmental Groups Care About the Whales?

Although it may seem like environmentalists who are pro-wind farm simply don’t care about the dying whales, they want to make it clear that that is not the case. 

Source: Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Spokespeople for these groups claim that they absolutely do care about the whales; they just think that the oil and gas projects are killing far more whales than wind farms ever could. 


Groups Claim Gas Drilling & Projects Are the Real Enemy

Not only are many environmentalist groups claiming wind farms aren’t killing whales, they also believe that wind farms are going to save the planet as they diminish the need for gas and drilling machines, which are the ocean’s real enemy. 

Source: Handout/Getty Images

One environmentalist, Alex Taurel, said, “Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that threatens coastal communities, economies and marine life.”


Oil Spills Kill More Marine Life Than Wind Farms

Another side of the argument from environmentalists is that even if wind farms are occasionally leading to whale deaths, which they wholeheartedly deny, oil spills kill more marine life than wind farms ever could. 

Source: David McNew/Getty Images

For example, just one oil spill, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, killed more than 100 endangered whales. On the contrary, only 60 whales have died for a wide variety of reasons in the past nine months. 


The Sierra Club Explains Its Stance

The Sierra Club explained in January in its magazine, Sierra, that “the environmental consequences of not speeding up offshore wind development are arguably worse than delaying it.”

Source: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The organization also filed a lawsuit in 2020 against the Department of Interior in regard to how the country’s offshore drilling affects whales in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit proved that The Sierra Club does care about the whales, it just doesn’t think wind farms are the problem. 


The League of Conservative Voters Also Speaks Up

The League of Conservative Voters, more commonly known as the LCV, has been a huge advocate for Biden’s offshore wind farms since he initiated the plan at the start of his presidency. 

Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images

They firmly believe that offshore wind farms will play a big part in the country’s “transition to a healthy and just clean energy economy that is more reliable and affordable for everyone.” 


Are Gas and Oil Industries Misleading the American Public?

It’s important to understand that these companies are not only claiming that wind farms are safe and vital to saving the planet but also that the information being released stating the farms are killing whales is nothing but propaganda. 

Source: Albatross/Getty Images

Greenpeace’s senior ocean campaigner Arlo Hemphill stated, “The manufactured hysteria is the result of fake news promoted by politicians, big oil and their cronies to save the oil and gas industry, which is fueling the climate crisis, destroying biodiversity, harming people’s health and hastening social injustice.” Both the Sierra Club and the LCV want to make it clear that they believe the connection between offshore wind farms and whale mortality is “disinformation” and “a misinformation campaign.”


Wind Farms Construction Will Continue, So Whales Will Have to Adjust

Realistically, whether the offshore wind farms are to blame for the increase in whale deaths or not, it seems that with the support of environmentalist groups, the government will continue to build them as planned. 

Source: Artie Raslich/Getty Images

The Sierra Club made it very clear that “the environmental consequences of not speeding up offshore wind development are arguably worse than delaying it,” and that hopefully, “migrating whales may opt to take a longer route around an offshore wind facility after it’s built.”