Locals Protests Against Morro Bay's Windmill Project

By Tyler Patel 

March 18, 2024
Locals protesting against the wind farms in the Embarcadero (Photo credit: KSBY)

Last Saturday, locals around SLO county protested against three offshore wind developers, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission as well as owners that were performing offshore research. This offshore wind project would consist of a 400 square mile area off the coast of Morro Bay. This project proposes the implementation of windmills in the ocean. Although the Humboldt and Morro Bay Wind Energy produce enough electricity to power over 1.5 million homes, officials suppose that when developed, Morro Bay can provide up to 3 gigawatts of clean renewable energy. However, residents have gathered by the Embarcadero to retaliate. Morro Bay resident Betty Winholtz, expressed her frustration about the city’s future plans, stating, “I just hope that people get educated about it and tell our Board of Supervisors how we feel as well as our city officials.”

One of the disadvantages of using wind energy is that it will cause noise pollution which will mainly affect whales and other sea creatures relying on their sounds to track their babies. This may also lead to a higher casualty rate in seagulls and birds while the turbines are creating electricity. Lastly, wind turbines are loud, which will disturb nearby neighbors.

Despite the protests being affiliated with only Morro Bay, residents from SLO, Cambria, and Cayucos all gathered together to refute this plan. According to  Cambria resident Harry Farmer, “people are here from all over the county and that’s really great. I thought it would just be people from Morro Bay, Cayucos that type of thing, but there’s folks from everywhere which is really uplifting.”

At the protest, local bands took the stage and the air was filled not only with protest slogans but also with the aroma from the numerous food trucks. This demonstration underscored a collective resolve against the city’s future plans, symbolizing a shared opinion against the potential impacts of the wind farm. 

The protest served not only as an argument by the people, but also as a way of getting to know new people and having fun. Although it is tough to know about what the city will be planning in the near future hopefully, it is an idea that everyone will be content with.