- In an appearance before an Australian Senate this week, researchers said the Great Barrier Reef will be “pretty ugly” by 2050 and that "the reef is in the worse [sic] state it's ever been in since records began." The researchers linked the decline to coastal development and government action, specifically nothing their approval of a dredging and dumping project around the Reef. The Huffington Post
- In 1997, nearly 4.8 million pieces of Legos spilled into the Atlantic when a container ship was hit by a massive wave. These Lego pieces—many of them sea-themed like octopus—are still washing up on beaches in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years after the spill. BBC News
Actor and ocean activist Reid Scott is joining Oceana in the fight against seismic airgun use off the Atlantic Coast. Scott, who is currently appearing in season three of HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy series “VEEP,” will be in Washington D.C. on May 29 to join a panel of experts urging Congress and the Obama administration to reconsider their planned use of seismic airguns. The panel includes Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Jacqueline Savitz of Oceana, Commissioner Emilie Swearingen from the Town of Kure Beach, and Dr. Douglas Nowack of Duke University Marine Laboratory.
In February 2014, the government issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on seismic activity in an area offshore the Atlantic Ocean from Delaware to Florida. This document predicts that if seismic blasting happens in the Atlantic Ocean, over 138,000 whales and dolphins could be injured or killed.
I wrote to you recently about the U.S. government’s plans to allow seismic airguns in the U.S. Atlantic. This technology, used to search for oil and gas deposits, could injure an estimated 138,200 dolphins and whales and usher in offshore oil drilling. A similar battle is occurring across the Atlantic, where the Spanish government is planning to open 45 percent of the Spanish Mediterranean to seismic surveys, putting local ecosystems and economies at serious risk.
Several weeks ago, I wrote to you about how the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is planning to allow seismic airguns off the East Coast, despite the obvious harm they will cause marine life, including whales and dolphins.
Atlantic dolphins are in danger, and Miranda Cosgrove needs your help to save them. Recently, she joined Oceana in Bimini, Bahamas to swim with Atlantic spotted dolphins and film a new public service announcement (PSA) about how seismic airguns could harm Atlantic dolphins.
“When I first entered the water, the dolphins were playing with each other, swimming side by side, and they were constantly singing to each other—I could hear it! After a while they started to approach me and I could feel them look me in the eye. It was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Cosgrove.
Today in the nation’s capital, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on allowing seismic airgun testing in the Mid- and South Atlantic. While it promises a few protections here and there for marine life in the Atlantic, we can’t support the idea at the crux of the review: a plan to move forward with the use of seismic airgun testing for oil and gas drilling.
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.