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Community members share their thoughts and concerns about the proposed Morro Bay off-shore wind project

Morro Bay
Posted at 11:08 PM, Nov 12, 2023

Dozens gathered to learn more about wind energy at a meeting in Morro Bay on Sunday. The community shared their thoughts and concerns about the proposed off-shore wind project.

A little over 50 people attended the meeting in Morro Bay.

Many who spoke at the meeting like the idea of wind energy, but not this project.

“I'm an environmentalist. I love the idea of wind generators but not like this. This is a very destructive idea and I think we have to think about our identity as a town,” one community member said.

The federal government has opened up a 400-square mile area off the coast, northwest of Morro Bay for three wind energy leases.

At the meeting, Morro Bay City Council Member Zara Landrum shared what they know and do not know yet about the proposed project.

“Nothing like this has ever been done. There are no other large scale floating off-shore wind farms in such deep water anywhere in the world,”Landrum said.

A microphone was passed around, so community members could comment.

“It’s experimental. They are playing with our community, our fish, our everything,” another community member said.

Landrum shared a list of topics the city does not know the answers to yet including:

  • Not having a proposal to the city by any company.
  • There have not been any designs submitted to the city.
  • They don’t know how many piers would be needed or how much land.
  • There is not an estimate of the total cost of the Morro Bay off-shore development.
  • It has not been made clear who would pay for the costs.
  • They don't know what jobs will be created other than the crew jobs and support jobs indicated-or how permanent they are.
  • They don't know what kind of impact it will have to the housing market.
  • They do not know if they would need new roads and infrastructures.

Some people expressed concern about wildlife, especially the endangered sea otters.

“We only have 50 otters in Morro Bay. There are three-thousand in all of California which is nothing compared to what it used to be,” one community member said.

Fisheries are another concern.

“It will kill our salmon fishery. All these fisheries will be gone,” another community member continued.

“We've got to educate ourselves that there are other ways to produce energy that are not destructive to humans and mammals and water and sound and everything,” a community member commented.

The next community workshop meeting for the off-shore wind project will be held on Nov. 29.