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Offshore Wind Developer, Environmental Advocates Agree To Protect Endangered Right Whales

A New Bedford-based offshore wind developer is partnering with environmental advocates to protect North Atlantic right whales.

Right whales are one of the most endangered marine mammals on the planet.

There are only about 400 of them left, and Vineyard Wind is developing a large-scale offshore wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard in the same waters right whales pass through.

The company announced this week an agreement with three environmental groups to cut back on construction during the winter and spring when the whales might be around.

Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, said this partnership is a big deal. 

"We’re really committed to finding workable solutions that allow our treasured marine resources and the offshore wind industry both to thrive," O'Mara said.

Erich Stephens, chief development officer at Vineyard Wind, said the partnership ensures their project will be built and operated responsibly.

"This agreement is also a model for how all stakeholders, including us as the project proponent, can work together to get the large amounts of offshore wind that we as a nation need to fight climate change,” Stephens said.

Vineyard Wind’s project is expected to be completed in 2022, and produce enough energy to power more than 400 thousand homes.

Two right whales.
Two right whales.