TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Protesters gathered outside the New Jersey State House in Trenton, chanting "save our whales," and raising signs or inflatable marine animals.
A group presented lawmakers with a petition on Thursday that had nearly 500,000 signatures on it.
It called for a stop to offshore wind energy development after an upsetting few months of whales and dolphins getting stranded on the Jersey shore.
"We do support clean, renewable energy if it really is clean, but we know that offshore wind is not," said Suzanne Hornick, with Protect Our Coast NJ.
"We're going to fight for our Jersey shore. Don't let them kill our tourism, kill our animals, and kill our lifestyle," said Assemblyman Antwan McClellan (R - NJ).
So far this year, eight whales have been stranded in New Jersey, along with 22 dolphins and two porpoises.
Residents and politicians, mostly Republicans, have called into question the effect of the survey activities being conducted by energy companies as they prepare for construction.
This week, four Democratic U.S. senators, including both senators from New Jersey, asked the federal government to address the recent marine deaths, though their letter didn't mention the offshore wind development.
"At this point, there is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from wind development-related site characterization surveys could potentially cause mortality of whales, and no specific links between recent large whale mortalities and currently ongoing surveys," said a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The spokesperson also added that the organization is still gathering and studying data on the matter.
Many of the necropsies are still pending, including the eight dolphins discovered in Sea Isle City last week.
A humpback whale in Seaside Park has preliminarily ruled a suspected vessel strike. A bottlenose dolphin found dead in Avalon was preliminarily found to have pneumonia.
Thursday's rally also brought out some people who are pro-wind energy in a counter-protest.
"The unusual mortality event began in 2016, which was well before the offshore wind development," said Allison McLeod, a public policy director for the NJ League of Conservation Voters.
"One of the number one threats to our marine environment is climate change, and offshore wind and clean energy is an important step in getting us there," she added.
Governor Phil Murphy was not at the rally.
Earlier this week, he said federal and state authorities are taking the situation seriously, but without clear evidence linking the deaths to offshore wind, there's no reason to stop the projects.