State Representative David Gomberg and the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative will be hosting a listening session at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club on Friday September 29th from 4-6pm to facilitate community engagement and gather valuable input regarding the recently announced draft Wind Energy Areas by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The session aims to provide Central Coast residents with an opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions related to the proposed offshore wind energy projects.
BOEM recently unveiled plans for offshore wind energy development off the South Coast. These projects have the potential to significantly impact the environment, economy, and way of life for communities beyond the South Coast, including fishing communities based out of the Central Coast. Three in-person public hearings have been scheduled by BOEM in Gold Beach, Brookings, and Coos Bay but regrettably, no in-person event was scheduled by the agency on the Central Coast.
This additional listening session will offer Central Coast community members a platform to express their thoughts and ideas about the draft Wind Energy Areas, and Rep. Gomberg encourages all residents, local businesses, environmental organizations, tribes, and concerned citizens to participate and share their insights. "The input we receive from our community is invaluable as we consider the potential impacts and benefits of these federally proposed wind energy projects,"
Rep. Gomberg said. "While the draft areas are proposed for the South Coast, much of our fishing fleet who will be impacted by these projects calls the Central Coast their home. It’s important that we aren’t cut out of this conversation. This community deserves to share their thoughts with BOEM too.” “BOEM continues to demonstrate their deep lack of understanding regarding Oregon’s commercial fishing industry,” said Heather Mann, Director of the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative.
“We have consistently relayed to BOEM the importance of engagement with fishermen up and down the coast, not just in Southern Oregon. The fact that they scheduled three meetings in Southern Oregon and none north of Coos Bay is evidence of what we have been saying all along – BOEM is not listening to stakeholders.” The listening session will follow a structured format, with attendees given the opportunity to speak and share their perspectives.
While this listening session is not organized by BOEM, comments provided by the community will be shared with the agency and added to the formal record.