A picture (of wind turbines you can barely see) is worth 1,000 words
I am writing in response to a letter to the editor published in The Sun on March 4, “Ocean City leaders correct to be wary of wind farms,” in which the author stated that “Ocean City will become an impoverished beach town because its main attraction (the ocean) will become a distinct eyesore” if turbines are installed at least 15 miles offshore.
We visited Brighton Beach, England, in September 2017, where I took the above photo of the beach and its offshore wind farm, which is between 8 and 16 miles offshore.
A picture says a thousand words.
— Paul DeMillo, Towson
What is pristine about Ocean City?
Usually when I want to get some morning chuckles from the newspaper I turn to the comics, but sometimes it’s better to go to the letters to the editor. Case in point was the recent submission by Lisa Gundling concerning windmills off Ocean City. The unsupported points disputing the benefits provided by the windmills were one thing, but what really got me laughing out loud was trying to reconcile the linking of “pristine” and “Ocean City.” (“Ocean City leaders correct to be wary of wind farms,” March 4.)
If I want to vacation in a pristine environment, it will not be someplace with massive and crammed-together high rises, a congested main thoroughfare comparable to any big city, a commercialized boardwalk strip of gaudy and trashy souvenir shops and bars, and massive events that often cater to the loud and obnoxious. Windmills that are so far out as to be hardly visible will ruin your ocean view? Give me a break.
— John Walther, Baltimore
OC will still be the lively beach we love even with turbines
I read the recent essay by an Ocean City resident about her grave concerns about putting offshore wind turbines off the coast (“Ocean City leaders correct to be wary of wind farms,” March 4).
These turbines will be more than 15 miles offshore; if you can see them at all, they’d appear as little more than specks on the horizon. That’s a lot less offensive to me than sitting on the beach and watching: planes fly by with long advertising banners, little boats cruising along with electronic signs advertising 2-for-1 cocktail specials at nearby bars, and huge container ships and fishing vessels regularly making their way to and from Delaware Bay. Those sights haven’t turned OC into a ghost town.
Let’s stay committed to clean energy, which wind power provides. I’m sure Ocean City will continue to be the lively beach we all love.
— Robin Reid, Baltimore
Turbines might actually boost tourism
Block Island, Rhode Island, was powered by five diesel generators. These have been replaced by five offshore wind turbines just 3 miles offshore. A study by the University of Rhode Island has shown that tourism has increased in the summers because of the turbines. Airbnb saw, on the average, a 19% increase in occupancy rates compared with Narragansett, Westerly and Nantucket. People who fish hire local boats to go to the turbines, which attract many fish. Others are hiring boats just to see the turbines up close.
— Jim Franke, Easton
Turbine resistance is shortsighted NIMBYism
Here is the premise: Offshore windmills are a direct attack on the ocean view that is Ocean City’s main tourist attraction (“Ocean City leaders correct to be wary of wind farms,” March 4). Is there any data to back this up? There are studies that show wind turbines are tourist attractors and lead to further revenue from people wanting to view them up close.
Now, let me focus on the distinct eyesores I see in Ocean City: buildings over three stories, the boardwalk, prop planes flying by with advertisements, cargo ships going by, barges dredging sand from the ocean bottom that replenish beach sand, plastic bottles being used and then not being recycled, smoking, spray-on sunscreen. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get my point. Also, I don’t know anybody that says the “view” is Ocean City’s main attraction. I hear the ocean, sand, activities and parties are the main attractions.
The last time CO2 levels were this high, the sea level was 60 feet higher. It is a good thing that sea level rise lags CO2 levels; otherwise the whole eastern shore of Maryland would be gone.
So, in the end, the only real issue is Ocean City is crying, “Not in my backyard.” But without offshore wind farms, they will not have a backyard (or front yard).
— Dave Arndt, Baltimore
Don’t like the turbines? Ignore them.
I agree with your letter writer who thinks the high-rise apartment and hotel buildings are uglier than sleek, slender, graceful wind turbines planned for off the Ocean City coast (”Impact of climate change is much uglier than wind turbines,” Feb. 28), as well as the point that climate change will be uglier without them.
We should also note that rusty, ugly cargo vessels cruise our coast much closer than the planned wind project, yet no one says they are ruining our tourist industry. And how about those noisy, irritating planes that drag crass advertising up and down our coast in summer? The tourism industry has not collapsed in spite of the fact that this ugliness has been affecting the view for decades. Why? Because our guests come to the shore for the waves, the water, the sand castles and all the other fun we have. Those visitors do what wind turbine opponents should do — ignore them if you don’t like them.
Or learn to love wind turbines because they will help save our planet.
— Charlie Garlow, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Global warming a bigger threat to OC tourism than turbines
Lisa Gundling agrees with the mayor of Ocean City that wind farms will decrease tourism in Ocean City (“Ocean City leaders correct to be wary of wind farms,” March 4). I certainly agree that tourism will decrease, probably drastically and probably soon. The problem is that wave size and power have increased to the point that many people don’t enter the water anymore. It is just not fun to have to fight one’s way into and out of the water, nor safe for children and older people. The cause of this new “wave climate” is global warming. Now let’s think; what might mitigate global warming? Oh, I know — wind farms. When people can’t go in the water, it doesn’t really matter if the Maryland ocean view is “spoiled” by wind blades or not; they won’t be visiting. So I offer the mayor a tourist slogan — “Wind Farms: protecting our shoreline!”
— Cindy Farquhar, Baltimore