In the midst of heated debates along the U.S. Atlantic coast regarding seismic testing, citizens in the Caribbean are waging their own war against energy companies who want to use this technology to search for oil and gas deposits. Seismic airguns have been shown to reduce catch rates, harm marine mammals, and threaten the livelihood of coastal communities.
By Randy Sturgill
The waters off the North Carolina coast are known as the “graveyard of the Atlantic.” Since the 16th century, thousands of ships have wrecked on the area’s deadly capes and shoals. Even today, mariners still dread these places, including familiar places like Cape Hattaras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear.
We’d like to send out a great big “Thank you” to all of our activists and supporters this Thanksgiving.
Oceana’s grassroots activists have taken action over 600,000 times this year—sending letters, calling legislators, joining demonstrations—and all this hard work has led to some amazing victories.
Oceana can only win protections for ocean creatures and ecosystems because of our supporters. Here are some of the victories they helped win this year:
I have more great news to share with you about Oceana’s campaign to halt the use of deadly seismic airguns on our Atlantic coast. On September 6, Oceana delivered more than 100,000 petitions to Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Those petitions urge the government to stop the proposed use of seismic airguns, which the energy industry wants to use to search more than 300,000 square miles of the Atlantic for buried oil and gas deposits.
Last week marked the beginning of a month-long, 10-stop East Coast tour for Oceana’s climate team. Over the next few weeks, our organizing team will be working with local organizations to host panel discussions on the hazards of seismic blasting in the Atlantic Ocean—a dangerous pre-cursor to offshore drilling along the East Coast, which will have devastating impacts on marine wildlife, fisheries and coastal economies. We kicked off our public forum series last Monday at Monmouth University with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.
Oceana’s efforts to fight seismic airgun use in the Atlantic are off to a strong start. Right now our activists are conducting forums in nine different states to educate residents about the dangers of airguns.
If you know new information is coming about a dangerous practice, you should wait to get that information before deciding what to do, right? This is exactly what today's Washington Post editorial calls for, and they're right.
It’s not often that a government delay is cause for celebration, but this time the oceans caught a break. After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the Department of the Interior decided to postpone their decision on whether to allow seismic airgun use off the Atlantic coast until next March.
This is the third time Oceana has successfully delayed the decision, allowing us the chance to build opposition and to urge more lawmakers to protect marine mammals by opposing testing. It also gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration time to update its outdated standards for the level of noise that is harmful to sea life.
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the July 24 article titled, “Dolphin dies after beaching in Ocean City.”
We always knew that dolphins were incredible, but this story made our jaws drop – a dolphin, captured and held in captivity for several years, escaped from her pen and reunited with her pod. The dolphin, named Sampal, was accidentally caught by fishermen off Jeju Island, near South Korea, as reported by the environmental blog Take Part, which has been charting this epic tale. Instead of being released, however, Sampal was then illegally sold by fishermen to the Pacific Land Aquarium, where she was forced for years to perform tricks for food.