Friday, July 25, 2008

Finavera Sunken Wave Energy Buoy Recovery Underway

It sank to the bottom in 150 feet of water just one day before its planned retrieval. After nine months of waiting, divers and salvage vessels are currently on site to assist in the rebirth of a 75-foot, 40-ton wave energy buoy. The buoy, now in separate pieces, is being towed up the Yaquna River to a salvage yard. The first piece (the 10-foot surface ring) came in at 2:00 am Thursday morning. The Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation submitted comments and requested disclosure earlier this year to the Department of State Lands and Finavera's plans for removing the buoy prior to the expiration of the temporary use permit. "We were concerned that the state was going to be left holding the bag on this, and we didn't want it to set precendent for future salvage efforts that will surely come as we explore new alternative energy projects in Oregon," said Newport Chapter's Joe Haxel. "It's great to see Finavera following through on the salvage."

The Surfrider Foundation is excited about the prospects for new alternative energy projects but recognizes the need to move forward with cautious yet optimistic planning. Finavera said they would use the data gleaned from the buoy before its demise to "move forward with technological development". We hope the local/state agencies and various stakeholders can embrace this as a learning experience to better prepare Oregon for the development of this new technology. Read more

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Surfrider Foundation Alternative Ocean Energy Policy

While meeting in Newport, Oregon on June 28th, the Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors passed an Alternative Ocean Energy policy that defines our approach toward renewable energy projects along the world's coasts and oceans.

Alternative Ocean Energy Policy

The policy highlights the importance of seeking clean energy sources such as those provided by the oceans to reduce our dependency of fossil fuels that are creating global warming.

The policy also recognizes that there are many questions and concerns about ocean energy, including potential impacts to ocean recreation, nearshore ecology, coastal processes, public safety, aesthetics, and fishing access.

The policy also stresses the need for transparency and meaningful public input on future projects.