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REACT Alliance plans March 9 protest of Morro Bay wind project



One local group plans to protest California's offshore wind projects on March 9.

REACT Alliance is organizing a Save Our Seas march beginning at noon in front of the Morro Bay Veterans Memorial Building. Participants will walk down to the T-Pier and meet with local fishermen and discuss the impacts of wind farms and return to the vets hall for a fundraiser event.

NO WINDMILLS On March 9, local group REACT Alliance is protesting the wind turbines planned for federal waters 20 miles off the Morro Bay coast. - IMAGE COURTESY OF NICOLE DORFMAN
  • Image Courtesy Of Nicole Dorfman
  • NO WINDMILLS On March 9, local group REACT Alliance is protesting the wind turbines planned for federal waters 20 miles off the Morro Bay coast.

"We'll have a guest speaker come out and also do a silent auction as another way to raise money," spokesperson Betty Winholtz told New Times. "We will also have a play area that will be supervised for parents that want to bring their kids because we think families would be interested, as this will affect their future."

REACT (Responsible Energy Adaptation for California's Transition) Alliance spokesperson Nicole Dorfman also told New Times that Bear City Social and Taqueria Cinco de Mayo will have their food trucks at the event.

"Our silent auction items include EV chargers and installation from Photon Brothers, nature themed artwork, cases of wine from Stolo Winery, various gift baskets of organic products from Soto's True Earth, Avocado Shack, and Sunshine Market, and more," she said.

A variety of gift cards will also be auctioned off, and the event is free to attend.

"We also have Carolyn Porco as our special speaker, and she's a planetary scientist who was a lead scientist on two of NASA's biggest space missions," she said. "She was also named in 2012 one of Time magazine's 25 most influential people in space exploration."

The U.S. Department of Interior auctioned off the first California wind energy leasing areas off the coast of Humboldt and Morro Bay in 2022. The two areas were divided into five lease areas and auctioned off for a total of $757.1 million, according to an Aug. 22, 2023, Morro Bay city staff report. The wind energy areas are located roughly 20 miles offshore.

The project is expected to take between 12 and 15 years to complete, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's environmental impact statement states that the project could impact air quality, animals, wetlands, coastal habitats, and commercial and recreational fishing.

"Project structures above the water could affect the visual character defending historic properties, properties of traditional religious and cultural significance, and recreational and tourism areas," the study states. "Additionally, the project could create space-use conflicts with military activities, air traffic, land-based radar services, cables, and scientific surveys."

Winholtz said she's passionate about opposing the wind project because she believes that the wind farms will harm whales as they move through the Central Coast as part of their migration pattern.

"Right now, mother whales are just giving birth down in Mexico and they'll bring their babies up through here as they swim up to Alaska. These babies are young, and when project developers start sound testing, that's going to have a real impact on their ears, causing some of these babies to die," she said. "Also, it's going to affect bird migration patterns as they fly from north to south."

Fast facts

Cal Poly accounting students are offering free tax help to qualifying local community members—with $67,000 or less in gross income—via the Volunteer Assistance Tax Program (VITA) on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment through March 16. Those interested can visit to learn more. The clinics will be held in Cal Poly's Business Building (No. 3) near California Boulevard. VITA will also be running two off-campus locations in Oceano and Santa Maria through March 16.

Atascadero High School students are partnering with Tree-Plenish to host a tree planting event with the objective of planting enough saplings to compensate for their school's energy consumption. Those who are interested in helping students reach their 150-tree goal can order a sapling by March 20. For more information, please visit Δ

Reach Staff Writer Samantha Herrera at [email protected].

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