National Fisherman


WASHINGTON — The mighty winds that blow through Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere in the United States aren’t as mighty or as consistent as the gusts out in the oceans.
 
But 13 years after the nation’s first offshore wind park was envisioned in Nantucket Sound, this plentiful source of renewable energy has yet to produce a kilowatt of utility power.
 
Now a Seattle company hopes to join that race by harnessing some of the fiercest winds off the Pacific Coast. Earlier this month, Principle Power got a nod from the U.S. Department of the Interior to proceed with its application to lease 15 square miles of federal waters near Coos Bay, Ore.
 
Principle’s $200 million WindFloat project would anchor the first offshore turbines in federal waters on the West Coast. It also would be the first in the nation to use triangular floating platforms instead of single piles driven into the ocean floor.
 
That novel design tackles perhaps the biggest reason why wind parks have yet to make a foray in the Pacific — a steep drop in the continental shelf that makes the waters too deep to secure fixed-bottom turbines economically.
 
Going far offshore also helps neutralize concerns about noise, harm to birds and aesthetic blight that sometimes buffet inland wind projects.
 
Read the full story at the Seattle Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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