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Oceana and NRDC to Conduct Mock Seismic Airgun Test Outside Department of the Interior Building, Call to Prevent Testing in Atlantic

Press Release Date

Friday, September 28, 2012
Location: Washington

Oceana and NRDC will conduct a mock seismic airgun test outside the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) building in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. The groups are calling on the U.S. government to prevent such testing in the Atlantic Ocean because of its impacts on marine mammals, fisheries and coastal economies.

Seismic airgun testing is currently being considered for oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Coast from Delaware to Florida. This testing involves shooting loud blasts of compressed air through the ocean and miles under the seafloor every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days to weeks on end. The blasts are so loud and constant they can cause temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of vital behaviors such as mating and feeding and even beach strandings and deaths.

According to DOI’s own assessment, seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean would:

  • Injure as many as 138,500 dolphins and whales
  • Injure as many as nine critically endangered North Atlantic right whales (only 361 left worldwide)
  • Disrupt nesting for threatened loggerhead sea turtles
  • Displace commercially valuable species and decrease catch rates for coastal fisheries


Matt Dundas
, Acting Campaign Director, Oceana
Matthew Huelsenbeck
, Marine Scientist, Oceana
Michael Jasny
, Senior Policy Analyst, NRDC


Tuesday, October 2, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Rawlins Park (outside Department of the Interior building)
18th and E Streets, NW, Washington, DC  20240