Fishermen vs Wind Farmers; Touchdown Hemp!

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry.

In New Bedford, Massachusetts, fishermen say they dread navigating hundreds of turbines to get to their historic fishing grounds if three large scale wind farms are developed off the mainland.

Scallopers from Maine to North Carolina are also suing the federal government to halt a nearly 200-turbine wind farm proposed off New York’s Long Island.

And commercial fishermen in Maryland’s Ocean City and North Carolina’s Outer Banks are voicing similar concerns about losing access to critical fishing grounds.

Matthew Morrissey is a vice president at Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island company operating the nation’s only existing offshore wind farm. He says the two industries can coexist and that Deepwater’s Block Island project shows how.

Former Clemson football coach Danny Ford and ex-Rep. Chip Limehouse are two of the 20 farmers in South Carolina picked to legally grow hemp.

Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers says it was tough because there were as many as 50 good applicants graded on agricultural experience, ability to get financing and location for the pilot program passed this year.

Weathers says the agency tried to spread the hemp-growing permits across the state in clusters.

Each hemp grower must partner with a university.

Limehouse told The Post and Courier of Charleston he will grow hemp on a farm he has owned for several years in Aiken County. He thinks hemp could be South Carolina’s next boom crop like indigo or rice once were.

It should be noted that this is industrial hemp, NOT related to the kind used to make marijuana.