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Old 11-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
DZ
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URI Recreation & Tourism Study - Block Island Wind Farm

I've been invited to participate in this study representing the Block Island Surfcasting Community. Looking for input from any of you in the context of whether/how the Block Island Wind Farm has affected your island surfcasting. Other participants will be covering boat fishing, etc. Our first meeting is Monday November 20th.


Dear Mr. Zambrotta,

We are reaching out to you because of your experience related to recreational fishing. I am part of a team at the University of Rhode Island researching how the Block Island Wind Farm is affecting recreation and tourism – including the recreational fishing industry. Would you be interested in joining a small group of your peers for a series of focus group meetings in which you can share your experience and expertise on how the wind farm affects the recreational fishing industries. In addition to the opportunity to talk with your colleagues about your experiences, this meeting will provide you with an update from Rhode Island Sea Grant on the very latest in U.S. east coast offshore wind energy development.

Here is some additional information about our study that may help you:

What is this study about and who is paying for it? Our two-year study, “Identifying Indicators of Offshore Wind Benefits: An Analysis of the Effects of the Block Island Wind Farm on Rhode Island Recreation and Tourism Activities,” is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). You can view the project fact sheet here. Through this study we are documenting the impacts of the wind farm on recreation and tourism and suggesting ways they might measure such impacts in the future. Our team is collecting information about wind farm impacts by reviewing media and public documents, observing tourists around the wind farm, and holding focus groups with representatives of five different recreation and tourism sectors. The sectors are Block Island tourism; South County tourism; charter excursions; recreational fishing; and recreational boating and sailing.

What is the point of the focus groups? In our focus groups, we would like to hear from experienced fishermen about how the wind farm has, or has not, affected their recreation and tourism activities and/or businesses, and to get their feedback on our research findings and proposed indicators. We would like to meet with each group twice. In the first 90-minute meeting, you will talk with your peers and our research team about what you have experienced and observed during the 2017 season. In the second meeting, we will share some of what we have learned, as well as our proposed indicators, so that you can provide your feedback.

How will you use my input? With the consent of focus group participants, we will audio record the sessions and transcribe them for analysis. We won’t share use your name in any reports or publications, but because this is a focus group, we can’t guarantee complete confidentiality (this research has been approved by the University of Rhode Island Institutional Review Board). We will then use this information to propose socioeconomic indicators (ways of measuring impacts) to help regulators, industry, communities, and researchers measure the impacts of offshore renewable energy facilities, such as wind farms, on recreation and tourism activities in Rhode Island and in other locations.

Why should I participate? You will have the chance to talk and brainstorm with your colleagues about how the wind farm affects your industry/activity, and the research team will share a synthesis of this information with decision-makers so that it can inform future wind farm planning and permitting. This is your opportunity to help the research team develop indicators that will be used to track the impacts of wind farms on your industry/activity and to plan for future offshore renewable energy projects. During each session the research team will share what we’ve already learned during this study. Additionally, Rhode Island Sea Grant will provide a short update about progress on other offshore wind farm proposals in the region, which may be of interest to you and your colleagues.

DZ
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"Limit Your Kill - Don't Kill Your Limit"

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Old 11-15-2017, 03:36 PM   #2
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that's awesome.. great school I studied marine biology there... many...many years ago.

A good run is better than a bad stand!
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:24 AM   #3
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On a hot summer day..those giant fans are nice to cool things down.

Hahahaha.

My only real comment is that they pollute the natural landscape. Like, where i once stared into a wild natural abyss and pondered my place in my natural environment...i now have 5 giant reminders of how Man is overcoming this planet. The open ocean view is forever ruined.

I do play an odd mind trick while i am out there with my beedie eyes in the dark. I imagine the turbines to be 5 tall surfcasters into a good bite. Seems like every two seconds they turn on their headlamps to unhook a fish.

The cartoon illusion worked better when then light interval was unsynced. Now i think most of them are synced up with only one slighly out of tempo.

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Old 11-16-2017, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppet View Post
On a hot summer day..those giant fans are nice to cool things down.

Hahahaha.


Quote:
Originally Posted by puppet View Post
My only real comment is that they pollute the natural landscape. Like, where i once stared into a wild natural abyss and pondered my place in my natural environment...i now have 5 giant reminders of how Man is overcoming this planet. The open ocean view is forever ruined.
I don't think they pollute it because they are working to protect it in a small way.

I am always amazed by the extreme and political environmentalists that say we need to do all of these different things then balk when it comes to offshore wind. Or yet balk when the much maligned orange bull frog of Western Sri Lanka is attracted to solar arrays and cooks. Some people are incapable of being satisfied.

I do not see them as an eyesore but as a well intention-ed device that is capturing necessary energy in a reasonable and responsible manner - in fact there should be more (particularly visible from the Kennedy Compound).

There are opportunities where solar and wind make great sense and that deployment should be encouraged.


Quote:
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I do play an odd mind trick while i am out there with my beedie eyes in the dark. I imagine the turbines to be 5 tall surfcasters into a good bite. Seems like every two seconds they turn on their headlamps to unhook a fish.

The cartoon illusion worked better when then light interval was unsynced. Now i think most of them are synced up with only one slighly out of tempo.

Deep thoughts by jack handy....
Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device
When you see them come of of fog they look like from War of the Worlds ; )

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Old 11-16-2017, 10:41 AM   #5
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During the summer of 2016 when they were going up they lit up the coast and ruined the fishing for me. Summer of 2017 I did not experience any negative aspects of the turbines on night fishing. The lights are not bright enough to affect my night vision and the fishing itself. Aesthetically I would rather not have them at all but in a few more years you will forget what it was like to not have them there at all.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone - keep the comments coming. Ruining the view is probably not an adverse effect as it relates to recreational surfcasting but I'll be sure to bring it up. I can relate to SteveK comment during the construction process - they were very bright - many nights I could walk the shore with little need for a neck light.

On a somewhat goofy note they have given me a new excuse for my lack of success in catching striped bass on Block. Maybe they will become the "banana on the boat excuse" for surfcasters

DZ
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"Limit Your Kill - Don't Kill Your Limit"

Bi + Ne = SB 2

If you haven't heard of the Snowstorm Blitz of 1987 - you someday will.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
I do not see them as an eyesore but as a well intention-ed device that is capturing necessary energy in a reasonable and responsible manner - in fact there should be more (particularly visible from the Kennedy Compound).
I do not argue the good intentions and the good they are for our planet.

I just wish they would have parked them somewhere in a place I did
not care as much. For me they are an eyesore. Crawling around
those south side beaches, with no man made structures in view was
sort of a special experience...that can never be had again. It might
sound hokey or cheesey....but for me its true.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppet View Post
I do not argue the good intentions and the good they are for our planet.

I just wish they would have parked them somewhere in a place I did
not care as much. For me they are an eyesore. Crawling around
those south side beaches, with no man made structures in view was
sort of a special experience...that can never be had again. It might
sound hokey or cheesey....but for me its true.
I get it - walking Cutty is like that.

For me they are a practical application in resource management - which mitigates the problem - for me.

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Old 11-16-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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I can't think of any impact on surf fishing..... boat guys will certainly have more to offer as I'm sure its changed the environment out where they are anchored on the bottom
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppet View Post
I do not argue the good intentions and the good they are for our planet.

I just wish they would have parked them somewhere in a place I did
not care as much. For me they are an eyesore. Crawling around
those south side beaches, with no man made structures in view was
sort of a special experience...that can never be had again. It might
sound hokey or cheesey....but for me its true.
I feel the same way.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:10 AM   #11
ivanputski
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Quote:
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I feel the same way.
I also agree... The south side has always been THE place I would
go during the most stressful times in my life when I needed get away... (When My mom died, etc...) I always felt like i was far far away from the rest of the world, staring out into thousands of miles of ocean. The turbines definitely knock this feeling down a notch.


On a side note, here is something I have wondered from the start:

Everyone says its a step in the right direction for a cleaner environment, but to play devil's advocate for a second:
These turbines are in a saltwater environment... has anyone estimated their lifespan of productivity? How many years years until the cost hits the break even point? Do they corrode and fail before breaking even? Does anyone truly profit besides the company producing and servicing them? (I know the environment "profits", but are there environmental drawbacks by installing these?)

I'm not saying i feel this way, but I am a natural born skeptic who explore ALL sides before I decide if something is great or not.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:02 AM   #12
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last nov I met an old-timer , a Block resident. He was extremely vocal about how they ruined the view and pissed him off to no end. To me, I don't think they effect the surf fishing 1 iota. They are too far offshore to have any effect.

I'm done
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:59 AM   #13
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One night on the south side I saw something over the water in patch black light that I swore up and down was a ufo. 3 sets of lights would turn on, move, then disappear. My mind was blown. They were above the horizon so it couldn’t have been a ship. Turns out it was the national guard doing dark flight maneuvers and would only turn their lights on when turning. (3 sets of c-140’s).

Now when you are there you see the red blinking lights of the farm, which I have the same mixed feeling as everyone else. That said I’d rather see this than coal burning in seakonk
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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My report on the Focus Group meeting. There were 10 industry/fishing/business participants ranging from tackle shop owners, rec fishing, charter boat operators, and tourism businesses that offer tours. I was the only surfcaster.

Most of the participants mentioned that the wind farm had impacted their business/fishing success in a positive way. There is great interest in the turbines. Some clients of charter boats even tell the captains they want to fish by the turbines even though the fishing may be better elsewhere. The only negative comment from a boat fishing perspective was that the wind farm area is now actually too crowded at times.

Non-fishing tours of the wind farm have increased business dramatically for some tour companies. So much so that they will be using the wind turbine farm in their advertising campaigns for 2018.

I incorporated many of the concerns of those who commented here. I mentioned that it would be hard to measure any decrease/increase in surfcasting “catching” success from such a small sample of data. I mentioned the concern about the electrical current emitted from the turbines/cable possibly impacting fish migrations. I did mention the “degraded” esthetic experience for many surfcasters. The facilitators of the meeting were very interested in this aspect. I mentioned the whale stranding s/deaths. But also mentioned there are more and more seals around the island than ever.

At the end of the meeting they gave us an update on other proposed wind farm projects yet to be approved. There are quite a few but all of them are much further offshore than three miles and all in New England are east of Block Island. Even the proposed Montauk Wind farm is actually well east of Block Island.

Other focus groups were held in various places including on Block Island. All this data will be compiled and submitted into a report for the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

DZ
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"Limit Your Kill - Don't Kill Your Limit"

Bi + Ne = SB 2

If you haven't heard of the Snowstorm Blitz of 1987 - you someday will.
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:02 AM   #15
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Thanks for taking the time to attend, contribute, and share back with us Dennis.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:37 AM   #16
Rob Rockcrawler
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When I was on the island in September the wind turbines were loaded with fisherman. I saw 22 boats out there one evening. In past years I would see a couple boats out there, there was a steady stream out there this year.
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