NOAA proposes hammering 208% of vanishing Right Whales

Originally posted at CFACT

By David Wojick 

Okay it is a trick headline because they can only hammer 100% of the severely endangered North Atlantic Right Whale population. The point is that NOAA is proposing, for offshore wind development, to authorize a horrific 706 cases of physical harassment of Right Whales, whose dwindling population is down to just 340 magnificent critters.

The average whale will get hammered roughly twice. The Right Whales migrate along the coast twice a year. Migration requires repeatedly running a gauntlet of dangerous offshore wind projects. Most likely some whales will be hit many times.

The harassment numbers for each proposed project are listed below. There are eight full scale construction projects and six blasting sonar site survey efforts. Many are off of New Jersey.

Harassment in this case means subjecting a whale to unsafe levels of very loud noise.

For construction this especially means driving the incredibly large monopiles. A single giant pile, up to 300 feet long, holds a turbine tower and 3 blade assembly that can be over 1,000 feet tall. Driving noise can be heard under water 50 miles away.

The construction numbers vary dramatically, making me skeptical of the low numbers. For example two projects exceed 200 harassments each, while Dominion Energy’s huge Virginia project predicts just 26 hits. Given the entire Right Whale population migrates off Virginia, I find this very low number highly unlikely.

Here are the project by project harassment numbers. Officially each harassment is called a “take”.

Eight OSW construction Take Authorization applications pending

Park City Wind, LLC Construction of the New England Wind Offshore Wind Farm Project off of Massachusetts

Right Whale take: 228

SouthCoast Wind, LLC Construction of the SouthCoast Wind Offshore Wind Project

(Mayflower Wind renamed, off of Rhode Island and New York)

Right Whale take: 216

Revolution Wind, LLC Construction of the Revolution Wind Energy Facility off of Rhode Island

Right Whale take: 62

Dominion Energy Virginia Construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project off of Virginia

Right Whale take: 26

Sunrise Wind, LLC Construction and Operation of the Sunrise Wind Offshore Wind Farm, off New York

Right Whale take: 35

Ocean Wind, LCC Construction of the Ocean Wind 1 Wind Energy Facility off New Jersey

Right Whale take: 14

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC Construction of the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Energy Projects (off New Jersey)

Right Whale take: 33

Empire Offshore Wind, LLC Construction of the Empire Wind Project (EW1 and EW2) off of New York

Right Whale take: 29

Total construction Right Whale take: 643

Assuming a population of 340, the total take is 189% of the population for proposed construction take authorizations.

Six OSW site characterization Take Authorization applications pending

Community Offshore Wind, LLC Marine Site Characterization Surveys off New Jersey and New York

Right Whale take: 24

Attentive Energy, LLC Marine Site Characterization Surveys off New Jersey and New York

Right Whale take: 12

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC’s Site Characterization Surveys off New Jersey and New York

Right Whale take: 3

SouthCoast Wind Energy, LLC’s Marine Site Characterization Surveys off Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Right Whale take: 6

TerraSond Limited Marine Site Characterization Surveys in the Carolina Long Bay Call Area

Right Whale take: 3

TerraSond Limited Marine Site Characterization Surveys in the New York Bight and Central Atlantic Call Area

Right Whale take: 15

Total site characterization take: 63

Total proposed Right Whale take: 706

Assuming a population of 340 this proposed Take Authorization is a horrific 208% of the dwindling Right Whale population.

See for detailed information on each proposed activity that requires a Take Authorization.

NOAA systematically ignores the threat that all this harassment poses to the whales, even though they are well aware of it. In fact I pointed it out to them 6 months ago. See my

Read the take numbers and weep for the whales.


David Wojick

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see

For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see

Available for confidential research and consulting.

5 20 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Halla
April 28, 2023 6:24 pm

Advocates for green prayer wheels do not care bupkis for either raptors or whales.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 28, 2023 6:42 pm

or people

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
April 29, 2023 5:43 am

Insects- our future food- once the greens shut down farming, since they say that farming is a big contributor to carbon emissions. There will be collecting nets under the turbines to catch the dead bugs. It’ll be a big industry. Now is the time to invest! 🙂

John Oliver
April 28, 2023 6:58 pm

Will anyone come to their rescue or advocate for them, those that cannot speak for themselves.

Reply to  John Oliver
April 29, 2023 6:06 am

They do speak for them selves by floating dead onto New Jersey beaches, because they cannot find food and avoid ships.


Reply to  wilpost
April 29, 2023 6:14 am

Obama legalized the official killing of the protected American Eagle.

It looks like Democrats love the RE subsidies for their friends and are willing to kill for them, including hapless, brainwashed, semi-lobotomized Ukrainians “for as long as it takes”

Please do not give that imbecile killer another 4 years

Reply to  wilpost
April 29, 2023 1:23 pm

During a meeting about whales and hurricanes, etc, in New Jersey

Liz Klein, a Biden-posse-appointed, political leader of BOEM, should have had the following answers to some really simple questions from the anxious, upset audience.

In case of a Category 2 or 3 hurricane, with winds over 50 mph, all wind turbines, on land and offshore, would be shut down to prevent damage!!

That means, a large fleet of traditional, quick-reacting power plants would have to be staffed, fueled, and kept in good working order, to be immediately ready to provide electric power during high-wind conditions

They would also provide power during minimal-wind conditions and all other wind conditions, 24/7/365.

As even the most obtuse RE folks would agree, now we would have TWO power systems, which, of course, cost a whole lot more than having just one power system. 

All those extra costs have been, are now, and will be charged to already-struggling ratepayers, taxpayers and added to already-bloated government debt, while they are trying to survive high interest rates and high inflation, and low, real GDP growth, despite huge deficit spending every month.

Welcome to the Biden-in-the-basement idiocies. 

It is extremely doubtful, the US could survive another 4 years of his demented shenanigans, including his US society-destroying open borders, and inane arms supply for corrupt Ukraine for “as long as it takes”



In the North Sea, which has some big wind storms each year, wind turbines last about 15 years, instead of the 25 years bandied about by naive, semi-lobotomized/brain-washed, media-befuddled RE folks.

They lose performance each year, because of salt water, and wear and tear, which requires more maintenance and more down time, and less production time, which leads to lower capacity factors, and more costs/kWh.

At 10 years, they usually need new rotor blades, which requires special crane ships

The old blades need to be disposed of in so-called “land fills”

In the Midwest of the US, there is a growing number of fields covered with used rotor blades, that cannot be economically reprocessed.

Welcome to increasing environmental destruction, for the benefit of the tax shelters of the private plane jet setters.

It used to be, the new replacement blades were aero-dynamically more efficient, but that refinement game is just about over.

Of course, the variable, grid-disturbing wind output, MW, could not be fed to the grid, unless counteracted by quick-reacting power plants, such as CCGT and hydro plants, as in Quebec and Norway, 24/7/365

Nick Stokes
April 28, 2023 7:01 pm

Read the take numbers and weep for the whales.”

This melodrama gets silly. Far more seismic exploration explosions are created by offshore oil and gas exploration than in locating foundations for wind turbines.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 28, 2023 7:07 pm

How much oil and gas exploration is occurring? And pile driving? You know, repeated knocks to drive the pile into the earth.

John Pickens
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 28, 2023 9:50 pm

This is a craven lie, Nick. There isn’t a single oil or gas rig off the Atlantic coast where these right whales live, and where these wind farms are to be built.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  John Pickens
April 29, 2023 1:34 am

But there has been plenty of exploration, where the seismic is done. And drilling. Says Wiki
“Offshore drilling for oil and gas on the Atlantic coast of the United States took place from 1947 to the early 1980s. Oil companies drilled five wells in Atlantic Florida state waters and 51 exploratory wells on federal leases on the outer continental shelf of the Atlantic coast. None of the wells were completed as producing wells”

David Wojick
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 2:47 am

This is sonar mapping not seismic testing. Herding whales from low ship traffic areas into busy lanes. It would be better if you learned something about this issue.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  David Wojick
April 29, 2023 3:06 am

Here is Greenpeace on the dangers of seismic and sonar for whales. But it seems you only care about wind turbines.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 4:14 am

Oh, Greenpeace. A truly good source!

David Wojick
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 5:29 am

Since no drilling is proposed in the Atlantic but 3,000+ huge wind towers are, I am focused on wind’s potential to exterminate the right whale.

Moreover wind is unnecessary while oil and gas are essential. So yes I only care about nonsensical wind power. But this is not relevant to the validity of my argument about the danger of these specific harassments.

David Wojick
Reply to  David Wojick
April 29, 2023 6:48 am

Also Nick, if you read the article you will see that the vast majority of the harassments are from construction, most of which stem from pile driving. So we are not talking about sonar.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 7:36 am

I know right? Every day we hear two or three stories about how Greenpeace is upset about the plight of the whales. Oh wait, actually that was drag queens. Actually no, nothing about whales. Nothing at all, come to think of it.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 8:19 am


The following is an extract from a pdf sent to me from Save The Whales:

The Draft EA for the Empire Wind, for example, shows the brand and model of Sparkers and Seismic Air guns (so-called “bubble” guns) that are representative of those expected to be used. This equipment will emit sounds of the same sound frequencies as the calls of the NARW, which anthropogenic sounds are received by the NARW louder (188dB and 192 dB4 respectively) than are the natural calls of the NARW, and thus are reasonably expected to “mask” them, or in common terms, drown them out. Right whales are highly dependent upon sound to maintain contact; They emit contact calls to communicate with conspecifics to keep aware of each other’s locations.

Additionally mothers and young calves must maintain close proximity in order for the calf to nurse and for the mother being able to protect her calf by placing herself between her calf and predators, and NARW use contact calls to do this.

There are only 340 North Atlantic Right Whales left at this time6. Although referencing an uneven sex ratio, the Strategy Document does not emphasize enough that in the world today there exist only about 79 females able to breed, and thus the document does not make clear how seriously imperiled the NARW are.

It is important to understand that the decibel scale is a logarithmic one. So, as is the case here (example above taken from actual developer’s plans), sound-emissions with a dB level that is 25 to 35 dB higher than the whale’s call has a loudness level of about six to ten times the whale call’s loudness.

Greenpiss don’t give a damn about the whales

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Redge
April 29, 2023 12:25 pm

The concern about whales here is confected.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 30, 2023 12:54 am

Seriously, Nick?

So you think the following groups, all signatories to the Save the Whales comment are being disingenuous?

Ocean Conservation Society
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Inc.,
Ocean Conservation Research,
Sea Life Conservation,
Oceanic Preservation Society,
American Cetacean Society,
Save the Whales,
Whales of Guerrero,
The Great Whale Conservancy
Gotham Whales

Or by “here” you mean WUWT, because despite what you may think many people here, like me, are genuinely concerned about the human impact on the environment.

CO2? Not so much.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
April 30, 2023 9:47 am

I am also sincerely concerned about the slaughter of endangered (and for that matter unendangered) raptors and the devastation of nature by hideous windmills, Nick.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 30, 2023 9:33 am


Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 12:03 pm

Why not find a reliable source for your mis-information?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 3:12 am

Can drilling be heard 50 miles away?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 29, 2023 6:08 am

No whales float dead onto beaches of the North Slope

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 7:32 am

Wow! To paraphrase Yoda, “The sophistry is strong in this one.”

40 years ago some exploration was done. Obviously that caused birth defects in whales that are now tragically succumbing after all these years. It’s a pure coincidence that all those bird shredders are being built. Totally unrelated. Thank you Nick for once again educating us.

David Wojick
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 2:42 am

Nick, those harassment numbers are NOAA’s not mine. They also say harassment can kill, especially because of where these huge projects are. See this:

Your dismissal is foolish. This issue is very serious. Harassment kills.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Wojick
April 29, 2023 3:13 am

“Your dismissal is foolish.”

Yes, it is.

David Wojick
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 5:21 am

I cannot figure out your argument, Nick. NOAA predicts over 700 new harassments of vanishing right whales, population down from 400 to 340 since harassment began in 2016. Are you arguing that O&G exploration somehow shows that these harassments are harmless? How so? Or if you are arguing something else, what is it? How is oil exploration relevant to my point? That the little bit of Atlantic oil exploration might have killed some right whales is not relevant, is it? What is your point?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 12:02 pm

Once again be-clowns himself by comparing things that have nothing in common.

There are explosions that are done in order to support seismic surveys.
First, the energy involved in the explosions is much less than the energy involved in driving these pylons.
Second, little Nick tries to pretend that each pylon that is driven counts as a single instance of noise. The reality is that it takes thousands of individual hits to drive each pylon.
Third, seismic surveys are banned whenever there are whales around.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 29, 2023 7:33 pm

Math fail. A modern wind farm is easily 100 turbines, each requiring a piled foundation that can take days to install – a year or more for the complete wind farm. The energy generated per turbine is small: even the largest are no more than about 5MW average output. 120MWh is 75 barrels of oil a day. A stripper well, not economic offshore. 7,500b/d is a subsea tieback, not a fixed platform, so no piling is required. It’s probably not required for almost any offshore platform, which will rely on gravity, anchoring (tension legs and spars), position keeping drillships etc. Any piling that might be required can be timed to be to reduce impact to sea life.

The most modern seismic techniques use ROVs travelling just above the seabed. These greatly reduce the effects of the sounds produced, while having other advantages in terms of analysing the returned sound (not being diluted and spread by water), allowing more effective measurement for less sound produced. Mitigation techniques for piling for windfarms, such as creating bubble curtains, are costly and only modestly effective, reducing sound by a few dB.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  It doesnot add up
April 30, 2023 11:02 am

Good to see you read it, Nick.

Clay Marley
April 28, 2023 8:32 pm

If they were Left Whales, they’d be protected.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Clay Marley
April 28, 2023 11:24 pm

The story is this, but could just be an urban myth.

Whalers labeled these animals “right whales” because they considered them the “right” whales to hunt. They swam slowly in coastal waters, floated when dead, and yielded large amounts of oil and baleen. Right whales had been hunted to near extinction when hunting was finally banned in 1935.

Gregg Eshelman
April 28, 2023 11:27 pm

They complain about noise from ships and SONAR bothering whales, dolphins, and porpoises, but are planning to set off explosives and do thousands of powerful, loud, impacts to drive pilings in the ocean.

Peta of Newark
April 29, 2023 1:57 am

Gonna dispute this:“noise can be heard under water 50 miles away.

Under water, wild guess by me, but you’re out by At Least and factor of ten if not a hundred.
Sound travels in water exceptionally well. Not least why the whales have become so dependant on it.
Even more so in shallow water which acts like an acoustic fibre-optic

My anecdote: and what rustled my slumber was from when I was farming in NE Cumbria.
A pair (Sean & Jamie) of London-based. BMW driving and smartly-dressed investment entrepreneurs were on the prowl for places to put wind turbines.
They’d heard tell of my experimentations with ‘Wang-Wang and ‘Sammy’
(A pair of small wind turbines I’d planted in the field at end of the garden = 300W and 50W resp. Wang Wang threw his blades off in a gale while producing, get this, 80Volts DC acoss a 4 Ohm load. Work it out. RIP Wang Wang xx))

For them it was win win win. I was (at the time) a great fan of windmills, there was a big phat 3-phase power line running across the farm and was on a west-facing hillside with clear 35 mile view/aspect towards the prevailing wind.
Fantastic and off they went to do further research and enquiries

I never heard another peep and the reason was the British Geologic Survey (BGS) site/base/HQ (just under) 50 kilometres away, as ‘the crow flies’ from the exact spot they’d picked to build their windmill.
Reason being that a planning moratorium was in force for any windmill over 50kW nameplate inside that 50km radius of Eskdalemuir where the BGS HQ was situate.

Never mind: all the hammering and banging to plant the thing, it was that when they were working they pumped so much noise into the ground that they deafened the seismometers installed by BGS at Eskdalemuir – devices listening (globally) for earthquakes, volcanoes atom tests and cow farts.
Hence no no to windmills.
We are closer to understanding what upsets folks living near the things?
It is that, the entire human body acts like a resonant cavity/seismometer even before your house starts resonating and rattling. We don’t just hear with our ears and whales will be the same.
Is that why they get to be the size that they are – the bigger they are the better they can can ‘see’

But soil/ground/farmland are really poor conductors of sound. Rock hard rock maybe but most of the area inside that radius is glacial till (sand/clay) and it’s littered with humongous peat bogs & wetland yet still; at 50km they imposed a ban on ordinary little working mills over 50kw in size.
Gotta laugh: Even the part ‘muir’ in Eskdalemuir is referring to a moor, mire or bog although I think they’ve tapped into some really FuggOff HardStuff up there.
Which makes sense. the bog works to quieten the ‘local noise’

Sean and Jamie were scuppered on another front – my power line could only accept an input of 250kW and they wanted to feed it 500.

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 29, 2023 12:09 pm

I’m pretty sure they took the acoustic properties of water into account when they calculated the 50 mile number.
I for one have never heard a pile driver on land from 50 miles away.

April 29, 2023 4:51 am

NOAA think that right whales are right wing, Trump supporting whales.

They are incapable of seeing anything in any other light – other than a tribal one.

Joseph Zorzin
April 29, 2023 5:40 am

Perhaps they think it’s too late to worry about the whales since the ocean is boiling. 🙂

John Oliver
April 29, 2023 6:13 am

Seems like just yesterday a whale was a sacred Cow. Now a sacrificial lamb to their greens gods.

Reply to  John Oliver
April 29, 2023 12:11 pm

A few years back, raptors were sacred cows. They too were dropped as soon as they started being killed by windmill blades.

April 29, 2023 8:07 am

About this “take” thing—might be about time to “take” a few NOAA officials out behind the woodshed, and re-educate them as to reality.

April 29, 2023 11:57 am

If it were an oil well, even a single case of harassment would be sufficient to kill the project.

It doesnot add up
April 29, 2023 7:39 pm

It is interesting to note how slow the EU has been in its research on oceanic sound. Perhaps that has been motivated by a desire not to impede wind farms – the modern scourge of subsea sound. This document provides an overview of the state of research as of 2017, since when it has been put on the back burner (and it was only produced some 9 years after being commissioned).

It suggests that whales would flee pile driving more than 100 miles away.

Andy Pattullo
April 30, 2023 7:48 am

As all good enviro-mental-nuts know me must kill them all to save them.

April 30, 2023 6:01 pm

follow the money. any real environmental aspect of this is going to be ignored. AND notice.

May 2, 2023 4:24 am

The average whale will get hammered roughly twice.”

One can well envision what steps NOAA and NASA would take if we ever encountered life or complex life elsewhere in space.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights