Scientists Study Bird, Sea Life Before Turbines Go Offshore

Wind farms have long provoked a certain cognitive dissonance among environmentalists, who favor renewable energy but oppose the negative impacts of turbines, including bird strikes and habitat displacement. The effects of turbines on bird populations are fairly well understood after a decade of European experience but less is known about their impact underwater, especially on local species of whales and sea turtles.

Wind Forum Stirs Debate as Task Force Remains Skeptical

With Rhode Island Sound now looming as the next frontier for wind development near the Vineyard, the Ocean State’s Gov. Donald Carcieri summed up his state’s energy policy this month with a single phrase: “Spin, baby, spin!”

Huge Group of Rare Whales Off Vineyard

An extraordinary group of right whales — some 95 living specimens of the rarest of all large whale species — was feeding in the waters between Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island this week, while two mother and calf right whale pairs were spotted even closer to the Island.

On Saturday, federal scientists in the air saw one mother and calf pair just a mile or two off Oak Bluffs harbor, and on Tuesday, a distinct pair was spotted in Vineyard Sound.

Same Place Next Year? Scientists Wonder if Whales Will Be Back

The rare right whales sighted last month off Block Island and off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have left — but their presence has brought about a shift in thinking in the scientific community.

Last weekend, only one right whale was spotted off the Rhode Island shoreline by the Coast Guard. It is believed the animals have moved to the waters off Chatham or Provincetown and into Cape Cod Bay.

Big Rare Right Whales Return To Feed on Smallest Sea Snacks

This spring endangered Northern Atlantic right whales have been seen and photographed swimming in Vineyard waters. Marine scientists who monitor right whales, considered the rarest among marine mammals, reported seeing 57 whales off Noman’s Land and nearly a dozen south of the Vineyard two weeks ago. More than 200 whales, about half the known population, have been seen since January in Cape Cod Bay.

A Baleen Ballet Dazzles in Local Waters

Until a week ago the waters off of Race Point in Provincetown were a pageant of marine life, with divebombing gannets, 80-foot fin whales slicing the surface, dolphins and porpoises circling like gnats and docile North Atlantic right whales skimming blithely by, mouths agape.

Rare Right Whales Spotted off South Shore Beach; Experts Say Much Activity This Year

Early this week David Damroth was strolling Zack’s Cliffs in Aquinnah and gazed across the gulf to Noman’s Land when he saw an eruption from the water a mile and a half out. It was a double spout, a trademark of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. For the next 45 minutes he watched as at least three animals romped about the surface.

Deep Ocean Mystique

Last week several right whales were spotted off the Vineyard, and the Gazette ran a story about it. Of course any appearance of the endangered whales is highly unusual and newsworthy.

News Update: Tuesday, Feb. 14 - Whales, Wildlife Top List of Remaining Wind Farm Concerns

As the federal government presses ahead with plans to develop wind farms on a 1,300-square-mile plot of ocean south of the Vineyard, on Monday night the Island had its turn to have a say about it.

Representatives from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, accompanied by members of the Gov. Deval Patrick administration and Cape and Islands Rep. Timothy Madden, came to the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven Monday to solicit public comment as part of a call for information announced on Feb. 6.

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