Federal and state officials on Friday celebrated the start of construction on New York's first offshore wind project off the coast of Long Island as an effort to transition to renewable and cleaner forms of fuel is begining to take shape. 

The project, South Fork Wind, comes after federal regulators in January issued a final sale notice for the New York Bight, considered to be a key milestone in the push to build more offshore wind projects in the coming years. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in an appearance together at the site of the project call the effort part of a major push to reduce the effects of climate change in New York state. 

"The harsh impacts and costly realities of climate change are all too familiar on Long Island, but today as we break ground on New York's first offshore wind project, we are delivering on the promise of a cleaner, greener path forward that will benefit generations to come," Hochul said. "South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the next twenty-five years benefiting not only the Empire State, but our nation as a whole. This project will also create hundreds of good-paying jobs, helping spur economic growth across the region as we continue to recover from COVID-19. This is a historic day for New York, and I look forward to continue working with Secretary Haaland as we lead our nation toward a greener, brighter future for all." 

State lawmakers previously approved a measure for the energy transition that includes the benchmark goal of producing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the state by 2035. 

"America's clean energy transition is not a dream for a distant future - it is happening right here and now," Halaand said. "Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals, and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President's goal to improve both the lives of American families and the health of our planet."