“WINDFARM IMPACTS ON CORAL REEFS AND OUR COAST”
I am not opposed to renewable energy. I just feel that the wrong site has been chosen for the wind farm.
Besides the damage to the forest and wildlife the project will cause at this site, the greater damage may be to our coral reefs and coast. The topography of the site is made up of many areas, which are very steeply sloped. Most of the land/ soil in this area is classified by the USDA-NRCS as Highly Erodible. Access roads are planned on extremely sloped land and windmill sites on narrow ridges at the backs of steep valleys. The project site is also within multiple watersheds, which feed both the North and South shores of Tutuila. The rainfall on this island is often torrential. We have flood warnings all the time.
Under these land and weather conditions, and with the extent of forest destruction and land excavation that will be required for this project, I cannot see how any methods of erosion/ sediment control will be adequate to allow compliance with the US EPA Clean Water Act and stop extreme amounts of sediment and nutrients from reaching our coasts and reefs and causing extensive and long-lasting damage to our coastal waters, shores and coral reefs.
Under the US Endangered Species Act, NOAA lists as protected in American Samoa, 6 coral species (Threatened) and 2 coastal turtle species (Endangered). Besides protected species, there will be negative effects on many other marine species and on local fishing.
Live coral reefs around our coast act as a physical barrier to reduce the effects of storm surges, extreme tides and tsunamis on our shoreline and coastal lands. Death of coral reefs due to sediment and nutrient pollution will most likely result in reduced shoreline protection, worsening shoreline erosion, and millions of dollars of coastal road and property damage and loss.
Our Congresswoman Amata has just cosponsored the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) bill to fund conservation of wildlife and plant species, invest in protecting at risk species and protecting and conserving our forest and wildlife. Placing this project at this specific site will go against all RAWA objectives. The US Fish and Wildlife Services has listed 2 tropical terrestrial snails in American Samoa on the Endangered Species Act.