The Beacon

Blog Tags: Oil And Gas Exploration

Eleven Florida Lawmakers Urge President Obama to Reconsider Approval for Seismic Airgun Testing

Florida Lawmakers disapprove of Obama's decision to allow seismic airgun testing

A critically endangered North Atlantic right whale and a pod off bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Florida. (Photo:FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

When the Obama Administration came out in support oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic Coast last Friday, they caused quite the reaction among lawmakers, environmentalists, and citizens along the East Coast. Immediately after releasing their Record of Decision (ROD) approving seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic, all Democratic members of Florida’s congressional delegation, including Senator Bill Nelson, submitted a letter to President Obama expressing their disapproval of his decision and reiterating their opposition to any blasting for oil and gas off their coast. 


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Obama Administration Approves Seismic Airgun Use off the Atlantic Coast In Spite of Local Opposition and Threats to Marine Life

A North Atlantic right whale

A North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species that will be impacted by this decision. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

For more than 30 years, the Atlantic coast has been off limits to offshore drilling. Today, our government appears to be folding to the pressure of Big Oil and its big money.

This morning, the Obama administration approved the use of dynamite-like blasts to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor in the Atlantic Ocean. The decision opens Delaware through Florida—an area twice the size of California—to these blasts, in spite of the proven threats to marine, mounting local opposition, and risks to fisheries.


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Help Stop the Assault on Whales and Dolphins With Just Your Facebook Photo

©Oceana

Editor’s note: This blog by actress and environmentalist Victoria Principal was originally posted at NRDC’s OnEarth blog.

I’ve been fascinated with marine life like whales and dolphins since I was a kid. Their grace and power, their beauty and intelligence, their joy and their song -- they are truly special creatures.

Now, as an adult, I feel a responsibility to do all I can to help protect ocean wildlife from environmental risks  … like the latest threat posed by oil companies dead set on seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

In case you haven’t heard, for the first time in 30 years the U.S. government plans to open up the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Delaware to high-intensity seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas.

It's a disaster waiting to happen. After the BP oil spill I teamed up with NRDC and Oceana to help protect the ocean from further tragedy. In an effort to stop these seismic testing plans from happening, we’ve created a Facebook photo petition urging the Secretary of Interior to abandon this plan. Please “sign” the petition by adding your Facebook profile photo!

seismic petition

Add your picture to our Facebook photo petition urging the Department of the Interior to abandon the proposal to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic that could injure hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins!

Not only is seismic testing the gateway to drilling off our coasts, it represents in itself a major assault on our oceans, with widespread harm to ocean wildlife like whales, dolphins and fish. Seismic testing in the Atlantic would expose ocean wildlife to constant dynamite-like blasts about every 10 seconds, 24-hours a day, for weeks and months on end. Even the government admits it could injure up to 138,500 marine mammals and disrupt marine mammal feeding, calving, breeding, and other vital activities more than 13.5 million times.

And because of the enormous distance sound can travel in the ocean, the noise from seismic testing can stretch many hundreds of miles and drive whales to abandon their habitats, go silent, and cease foraging over vast areas of ocean. At shorter distances, it can cause permanent hearing loss, injury, and death.

It would also harm our multi-billion dollar fishing, tourism, and recreational industries that support hundreds of thousands of American jobs. All of this just to make it easier for oil companies to find new sites in our oceans for offshore drilling.

And that just breaks my heart.

The upside though is that we can do something about it. If enough people add their photo to the petition, the Secretary of the Interior will have to take notice. It’s not too late to turn this thing around.

If you’re not on Facebook, you can also sign our traditional-style petition here. Every signature counts!


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