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County fears proposed wind-energy project will impact whiting fishery

Modified: Tuesday, Aug 5th, 2014

Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Chair Terry Thompson. (Photo by Dennis Anstine)

NEWPORT — Citing potential damage to a cherished Pacific whiting fishery and the coastal economy, Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners oppose a proposed deep-water wind energy project located about 16 nautical miles off Coos Bay.

Board Chair Terry Thompson initiated the action Wednesday after sending a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) asking for “a restart” of the site selection process for Principle Power’s request to place a demonstration project on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The Department of Interior (DOI) agency recently requested a notice of intent for the commercial energy firm to prepare an environmental assessment of an area encompassing about 10 square miles of some of the best whiting fishing grounds on the West Coast.

“The upwelling in that area is significant and brings in a lot of food for a high concentration of whiting,” said Thompson, a former commercial fisherman. “It’s a prime fishing area, but the fleet won’t be able to fish there with the huge anchors they’ll need for that project.”

For the complete article see the 08-01-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-01-2014 paper.

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