Protecting shorebirds and their habitat from ecological and waterway disruption is critical to ensuring resident bird populations and the usefulness of global migration pathways.
By Tom Romito, Board Member
Everyone knows that Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is about birds. Audubon is our namesake, right? That’s not all we’re about, though.
We want to educate the public and provide information that supports and encourages well-informed decision-making in all areas related to saving Planet Earth. That covers a broad range of topics.
For example, we support the need to restore the renewable energy standard in Ohio. We also conduct discussions on climate change in order to raise everyone’s level of consciousness about the need to protect our planet. And we promote sources of energy that are alternative to burning fossil fuel, such as solar and wind power.
What’s our position on wind power?
For just about every argument in favor of wind power, there’s a downside. Wind turbines don’t burn fossil fuels, but they present a danger to birds. Wind turbines create jobs, but only until they’re up and running. The impact that wind turbines on land have on birds is measurable, but maybe not over water.
So we maintain that we will support the installation of wind turbines over water, such as Lake Erie, provided that we see evidence of how they will affect birds before they are installed. We haven’t seen results or projections of post-construction mortality studies yet.
What do others say?
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) updates on wind turbine installation in Lake Erie at Wind Power Engineering and Development here. Conservation organizations like American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) say, “Not so fast”. Follow American Bird Conservancy (ABC) updates on Wind Energy development here.
We’re with ABC and BSBO. “Careful siting” is the phrase bird-friendly people use when the discussion comes around to wind turbines.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!