I have to be honest, I'm not really sure where to begin regarding my thoughts about the plan for wind farms to be constructed just off of our beaches here in South Jersey.

I'm having a difficult time expressing my thoughts because I know that no matter what, my current stance on the matter isn't going to be favorably viewed by either side.

Let's start from the beginning. There's a clean energy initiative currently in the works called Ocean Wind. The plan calls for a group of wind turbines (i.e. wind farm) to be constructed along the coast of our beaches. Of course, North Jersey won't have to worry about this. Seems like South Jersey always gets the nasty side of the stick.

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According to OceanWind.com, the turbines would be raised about fifteen miles off of our various coastlines beginning in Brigantine and ending in Cape May. The goal, apparently, is for the wind farm to generate enough power to provide to over half a million homes in the next few years.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding ways to help the environment. I'll be the first one to volunteer at a beach clean-up. I feel that it's absolutely essential to preserve and protect the world we call home. We only get one of them, after all. My issue, however, lies with the potential repercussions that could severely impact the local communities the turbines are supposed to serve.

For one, South Jersey as a whole has based its entire livelihood on the tourism industry. An article published by the Philadelphia Inquirer highlights some South Jersey residents' fears of what the sight of those turbines along our shores might do to the industry down here. If I suspend my cares for environmental preservation, I can absolutely see where they're coming from. They're afraid of what will happen when the landscape and allure that the beaches provide is a thing of the past. What if people stop vacationing here because all they can see are the turbines on the horizon rather than open ocean?

Ocean Wind has nothing but positive things to say regarding what the wind farm will do for New Jersey. Local residents aren't so sure. If I'm being completely honest with you, neither am I. If they could be placed a few more miles off the shoreline, then that's a different story. They'd be out of view. As the plan currently stands, it is a bit scary to think about all the 'what-ifs'.

All the information regarding Ocean Wind's wind farm can be found HERE.

Sources: OceanWind.com, Inquirer.com

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