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Keep Lake Michigan Wind Turbine Free!

Lake Michigan’s Natural Beauty is Our Most Valuable Commodity

Nature stretcheth out her arms to embrace man, only let his thoughts be of equal greatness.” (from Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The endless fresh water horizon seen from the shores of Lake Michigan is the very pinnacle of nature’s beauty. These magnificent panoramic views over vast expanses of open water are the heart and soul of Lake Michigan’s vibrant $7 billion dollar tourism, sport fishing and recreational boating industries, and a significant part of the $18 billion dollar state-wide tourism industry.

Michigan has more than 3,500 miles of Great Lakes coastline, more than any of the lower 48 states. Over 500,000 jobs in Michigan are connected to the Great Lakes, more than any other state. Lake Michigan also contains the world’s largest collection of freshwater sand dunes. The beauty of these unique dunes and their associated beaches are an extremely valuable asset to Michigan’s recreation and tourism industry.

Michigan’s Defining Resource
These boundless expanses of surrounding fresh water and world-class coastal dunes are Michigan’s defining resource. This natural beauty must be preserved to protect our multi-billion dollar tourism, sport fishing and recreational boating economies.

The placement of wind turbines in Lake Michigan would be a tragic mistake. Whatever the supposed gains in renewable energy or jobs might be, even the smallest decline in tourism or waterfront property values resulting from offshore wind farms would produce devastatingly larger losses in jobs, tourism dollars and state revenues.

It is likely that proposed huge wind farms off Mason, Oceana and Ottawa counties have already depressed housing values in a fragile Lake Michigan waterfront real estate market, diminishing state and local property tax revenues that in Michigan total over a billion dollars a year.

There Should Never Be Wind Turbines In Lake Michigan                                                Lake Michigan Open Water urges the people of the state of Michigan and our legislators to see the big picture before it is too late, and pass legislation banning the construction of offshore wind turbine farms anywhere on Lake Michigan or along coastal dune areas.

It is not enough to move the distance of wind farms farther offshore. A 450 foot wind turbine can be seen over 30 miles out while standing on the edge of the beach, and miles farther if viewed from a dune bluff. Sleeping Bear Dune rises over 440 feet above the shore and a commercial wind turbine would be visible at least 50 miles over the water, halfway across Lake Michigan.

North American Migration Flyways

 

There are also critical environmental reasons why Lake Michigan and the coastal areas need to remain wind turbine free, most importantly because they lie in key waterfowl migratory routes called North American Migration Flyways. Countless migratory birds use these north-south flyways every year, with lanes of heavier concentration following along the coasts.

While the number of birds killed each year by industrial wind turbines is still being debated, it is clear that placement of large farms of these gigantic structures directly in heavily trafficked bird migration routes would result in an unacceptably high level of fatalities, probably numbering in the thousands, and possibly tens of thousands.

A large variety of waterfowl, including many federally protected species, use these North America Migration Flyways, and endangering these birds would be a terrible mistake. Many raptors, including numerous bald eagles, use the Michigan coastal areas, and the slaughter of any these birds by wind turbines would be deplorable.

Summary
Possessing incomparable natural beauty, Lake Michigan is a precious resource to be treasured and preserved for future generations.

Erecting commercial offshore wind turbines in Lake Michigan would cause catastrophic losses in jobs, tourism dollars and tax revenues to the people of the State of Michigan, and their construction in this beautiful and environmentally sensitive area should be permanently banned.

 

More Info on Wind Turbines:

Industrial Wind Action Group – Dedicated to providing information on industrial wind energy to enable communities and government officials to make informed decisions.

National Wind Watch – Presenting the facts about industrial wind power.

North American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW) – Call for a wind energy ‘reality check.’

 

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