Today, Oceana delivered more than 100,000 petitions to Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The petitions call on the U.S. government to stop the proposed use of seismic airguns, which are currently being considered to look for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor in an area twice the size of California, stretching all the way from Delaware to Florida.
Seismic airguns shoot extremely loud and repeated blasts of sound, each 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine. The government itself expects them to injure and possibly kill 138,500 dolphins and whales along the East Coast, including nine critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which there are only approximately 500 left in the world. (Watch Oceana’s video HERE.)
“With offshore drilling in the Atlantic at least five years away, shooting seismic airguns is an unnecessary insult to marine life and coastal economies,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Vice President for U.S. Oceans at Oceana. “Our message is simple; do not turn the Atlantic into a blast zone – Stop Seismic Airguns. It is time for the Obama administration to stand up to Big Oil and say ‘no’ to seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic.”
In April, Oceana released a new report outlining the threats of seismic airgun use to marine life and coastal economies along the East Coast, including the potential danger to commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as tourism and coastal recreation, which puts more than 730,000 jobs at risk in the blast zone.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, as well as about 50 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, have also called on President Obama to stop seismic airgun use.
During September and October, Oceana will hold public forums about the threats of seismic airgun testing off the East Coast in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
For more information about Oceana’s efforts to Stop Seismic Airguns, please visit www.oceana.org/seismic.