An Oregon anglers organization will host a series of discussion meetings on potential wind farms in the ocean off Charleston, Winchester Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings starting this week.
The first will be held Thursday, May 5 at the Marina Activity Center in Winchester Bay starting at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
“The objective of this meeting is to provide factual information, enable a dialog, and identify opportunities and concerns,” states a press release from Oregon Coast Anglers.
OCA says similar meetings are slated for Bandon on Saturday, May 28, starting at 1 p.m. at the Bandon Community Center, also known as The Barn; Florence on Wednesday, June 1, at the Elks Lodge, starting at 6 p.m.; and Coos Bay and Brookings, though no dates or locations have been set yet.
They’re in response to last week’s release of “call areas” by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, that identify two areas totaling over 1,800 square miles of the Pacific for potential wind development.
The larger northern field stretches from Florence past Winchester Bay and Charleston to just south of Cape Arago, while the smaller southern field runs from Gold Beach and the Rogue River Reef south past Mack Arch and Brookings to the California border.
The perimeter of the Coos Bay Call Area is 13.8 miles offshore to 65 miles out, and runs 67 miles north to south and 41 miles west to east, while the Brookings Call Area is 13.8 miles offshore to 46 miles out, and runs 46 miles north to south and 22 west to east.
BOEM has opened public comment on the call areas to assess interest in leasing portions of them and determining whether to hold lease sales.
“This information will be used to significantly narrow the area to be considered for offshore wind development leasing as BOEM seeks to identify wind energy areas,” states a late April press release from the federal agency, a bureau of the Department of Interior.
Comments are being taken through 11:59 p.m. June 28.
Federal and state officials want to significantly boost wind and green energy development in the coming years and decades.
But last month’s news that a Mercer Island-based company had submitted an unsolicited lease request for a 2,000-megawatt wind farm off Westport sparked concerns among fishermen. Earlier in the year, the Westport City Council passed a resolution opposing offshore wind farms.
A website, OROWindMap, allows users to overlay the two Oregon call areas with various fisheries’ use, including albacore charters, recreational bottomfish and nearshore angling.