A new 30-minute documentary directed by Jonah Markowitz and produced by Public will feature original research and interviews the Save Right Whales Coalition, an alliance of grassroots environmental and community organizations, scientists, and conservationists. Environmental Progress helped found the Coalition in 2021 to protect the critically endangered right whale from the industrialization of their habitat through large-scale offshore wind energy development.
Titled “Thrown to the Wind,” the documentary brings attention to an urgent issue: the potential connection between the expansion of offshore wind energy and the rise in whale deaths along the East Coast. It will feature original research and interviews by Save Right Whales Coalition members.
There are approximately 340 North Atlantic right whales remaining, and the government is fast-tracking applications by developers to put industrial wind projects in the areas where they forage and breed.
Government agencies and environmental NGOs assert that the recent whale deaths are unrelated to the numerous ships conducting surveys in the waters off New England and New Jersey for the purpose of wind turbine construction. In fact, NOAA Fisheries has approved numerous licenses for wind developers to harm marine mammals in the course of their activities. And beyond general statements regarding threats to whales including vessel strikes, fishing-gear entanglement, and climate change, the agencies have offered no evidence or concrete data that show the OSW activity is not a contributing factor to the increased mortality.
Stay tuned for updates on the documentary’s release date, and follow the Save Right Whales Coalition on Twitter.