Bird lovers and Boaters are trying to stop a wind farm from being built eight miles off of Cleaveland on Lake Erie. The wind project is called Icebreaker.
Earlier this month, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory of Ohio and the American Bird Conservancy sued U.S. Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers, accusing them of failing to require a proper environmental impact statement as required by the National Environmental Policy and Clean Water acts.
The birders have the backing of the boaters, or at least organizations representing boaters.
According to Sounding Trade Only columnist Norm Schultz, the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, Lake Erie Foundation, Michigan Boating Industries Association and others have been demanding that the Ohio Power Siting Board withhold final approval.
"Icebreaker is a plan of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. Six turbines would initially be installed off Cleveland’s lakefront. But LEEDCo’s stated goal is to see as many as 1,400 more turbines in Lake Erie, making the need for a full environmental impact statement even more critical," Schultz wrote recently.
The Audubon Society issued a report in 2016, saying said wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year in North America. However, LEEDCo's literature, as shown below, notes that "avian mortality" from wind turbines is miniscule compared to, say, domestic cats.
All this comes at a time when the President has energized the Internet with his personal opposition to wind energy. Quoting Newsweek:
Trump's personal feud with wind turbines dates back to at least 2012 when he described them as "horrible-looking structures"...He has reiterated his concerns about wind turbines killing birds "by the thousands," and often uses bald eagles — the national bird of the U.S. since 1782 —in his ornithological tales.
A peer-reviewed 2014 study conducted by federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm West Inc. found that wind turbines kill fewer birds each year than cats and cell phone towers. "We estimate that on an annual basis, less than 0.1% ... of songbird and other small passerine species populations in North America perish from collisions with turbines," lead author Wallace Erickson of Wyoming-based West Inc. told USA Today at the time.