Stennie Medours, President, Houston Audubon Society, 512-799-0127
Cecilia Riley, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 979-480-0999
Lalise Mason, Habitat Restoration Chair, Scenic Galveston, 713-664-1870
Donna Hoffman, Communications Coordinator, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, 512-477-1729 or 512-299-5776
Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club consists of over 25,000 members.
The Chapter spans the entire state of Texas, excepting El Paso, which
is part of the Rio Grande Chapter. neil_ email@example.com
Located in Austin, the Lone Star Chapter's State Conservation Office
serves Sierrans as their grassroots communications center. We also provide
Sierrans with a full time professional activist staff employed to represent
Sierrans as we fight at the state level to protect and conserve Texas'
diverse and valuable natural heritage.
Texas Conservationists Raise Concerns about Potential Impacts of Offshore Wind Energy Project
Groups Stress Interest in Working with GOW/WEST during Monitoring Phase
(Austin, Texas) – Conservationists in Texas today raised concerns about potential wildlife and other impacts of a proposed offshore wind energy project while stressing their interest in working with project developers to achieve the benefits of wind energy.
Representatives of Houston Audubon Society, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Scenic Galveston, and the Sierra Club want Galveston Offshore Wind/Wind Energy Systems Technologies (GOW/WEST) to address the groups’ concerns as the company’s proposed wind project offshore of Galveston enters into its “Research Phase.”
The groups want to improve the project’s research plan and to advise on the technology that is ultimately put in place for the project.
Moving the project to completion too fast does not ensure the best available controls for the protection of the numerous species of birds in the area of the wind turbine project, said the group representatives.
“Houston Audubon supports alternative energy sources. This project, however, has the potential to negatively impact millions of birds that nest throughout the eastern half of North America and deserves close attention to details,” said Stennie Meadours, President of the Houston Audubon Society. “We are pleased that GOW/WEST has been willing to meet with stakeholders and stated their willingness to share their monitoring data. We understand that the project developers will monitor wind resources and avian activity at two locations on the lease site during this research phase. Houston Audubon would like to see the plan and specifications for the monitoring equipment as we share GOW/WEST’s stated goal of obtaining the hard facts regarding the interaction of birds and the offshore wind farms.”
"Scenic Galveston is all for renewable energy sources, including wind; but here on the Gulf Coast there is significant concern that the wind farms may ‘mine’ the same resource used by migratory birds,” said Lalise Mason, Habitat Restoration Chair for Scenic Galveston. “We are concerned about the cumulative impacts of multiple wind projects being built offshore and immediately inshore – with the latter occupying coastal wetlands and prairies. If there is a chain of wind turbine projects up and down the coast, what does this mean for not only migratory birds, but for shorebirds, waterfowl, cranes and other species already challenged by habitat fragmentation and development?”
“Sierra Club is encouraged by the development of wind energy in Texas as a clean, healthy, and affordable alternative to coal and nuclear energy. The project developers must get it done right, however, to avoid problems such as those experienced early in the development of onshore wind at Altamont, California,” said Donna Hoffman, Communications Coordinator with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Onshore wind energy problems have largely been mitigated by careful siting and improvements in the technology. GOW/WEST must be open to working with ornithologists and wind energy experts to set the best possible precedent for offshore wind.”