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Morro Bay Opposes Wave Park Plans

September 26,2014
With the urging of the towns fishermen Morro Bay has opposed proposed locations for a wave park of the Central Coast by Dynegy, owner of the shuttered Morro Bay Power Plant.

The city sent a letter September 10 to the agency overseeing the proposed permit. Some are suggesting a location further away from the community. The city had until September 22 to intervene.

At the most recent Harbor Advisory Board meeting Mr. Endersby displayed an ocean map on screen for the Board to see the proposed locations of the two wave parks by Dynegy. Mr. Hafer said two meetings were held by Dynegy which he and members of the MBCFO and others discussed these two sites, saying that neither location was acceptable to the fishermen. He said the best location would be five miles off shore, directly in line with the former Chevron tanker tie-up location that now holds the pipeline with cables. Mr. Hafer said the Dynegy representatives accepted this site, agreeing with the fishermen. However, this current ocean map of the proposed wave parks only shows the original two unsatisfactory locations. Mr. Joseph Conchelos, local fisherman who attended these meetings, said this permit application does seem to be a foot-in-the-door scheme by Dynegy; he described the enormous size of just one single wave-generating vessel as being 230-feet long, 59-feet wide, 30-feet deep into the water and 35-feet rising in the air above the water.
Mr. Conchelos said the meeting of the MBCFO and Dynegy ultimately was a bait-and-switch proposal by Dynegy. The MBCFO asked Dynegy if the wave-generating vessels could be placed inside a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and were told these were not allowed in any MPAs. Mr. Conchelos said if these are not environmentally sound enough to be placed in an MPA, then he does not trust them going into waters where he makes a living by fishing.

The Morro Bay city council concurred saying both locations as proposed would cause significant disruption to commercial and recreational fisheries.

On September 10, largely with input and recommendation from the Harbor Advisory Board, the City Council approved sending a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in unanimous opposition to the proposed Dynegy wave parks offshore in local waters. In addition, the City filed a “Notice of Motion to Intervene” in any Dynegy wave park permitting process. If the motion is granted, it means the City reserves the right to request FERC to rehear any decision made in the permitting process, including the ability to have FERC decisions brought to a court for review.

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