Despite a five year ban on drilling, the Atlantic ocean is still being blasted every 10 seconds and it's killing marine life. Click here to tell President Obama to stop deafening the whales while searching for oil.
Last month, President Barack Obama removed the Atlantic Ocean from a proposed 2017-2022 oil and gas leasing program. -- But he didn't halt a pending decision to permit seismic surveys in the Atlantic.1
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is currently considering requests from the oil and gas industry to barrage the Atlantic from New Jersey to Florida with underwater blasts, all in a search for where to drill in the future. Many of the surveys would be redundant, bombarding the same areas again and again. Companies have applied to blast about 90,000 miles in the first year alone -- which is enough to circle the globe more than three times. And with no lease sales allowed at least through 2022,2 these deafening underwater blasts would attack our ocean and our fisheries at exactly the moment we need to leave all fossil fuels in the ground and transition to a clean energy future.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act, which would place a temporary ban on geological and geophysical activities related to oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic. And he's been joined by six Senators who have co-sponsored the bill.3
But that handful of cosponsors is a long way short of the 60+ votes we'll need to pass Booker's legislation in the Senate. So let's show the world that we want our oceans permanently protected from oil and gas exploration and development. Click here to protect marine life, stop new oil exploration, and tell President Obama to stop off-shore seismic surveys -- and tell your friends too!
There is a growing concern over the effect the loud blasting of seismic survey have on marine life and coastal economies. Seismic tests involve airgun blasts, this sound intensity would be perceived by humans as approximately eight times louder than a jet engine taking off — as frequently as every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days or even weeks at a time.4 The federal government has acknowledged that seismic blasting in the Atlantic could injure as many as 138,000 dolphins and whales and disturb millions more animals.5
Seismic exploration drowns out the symphony of sounds that whales, dolphins and many other marine populations make to find mates, forage, avoid predators and communicate with each other. For some marine species, this disruption is a “death of thousand cuts.” The Obama administration even estimates that, over the next six years, seismic exploration would disrupt feeding, calving, breeding, and other essential activities in Atlantic marine mammals more than 13.5 million times -- an astronomical number that biologists say might still underestimate the damage to wildlife.6
It’s not even clear how much oil and gas there is off the Eastern seaboard where seismic testing could be used. Industry studies and some governors ignore the fact that there is already an existing $15 billion-a-year ocean economy that is built on industries like tourism and fisheries. All of that would be put in jeopardy by oil and gas development.7
We need to raise our voices -- eight times louder than a jet engine -- and stop it! The expanded use of seismic airguns could devastate marine life, harming fisheries and coastal economies. Click here to stop seismic testing to take Atlantic offshore drilling off the table for good -- and share with your online network through social media or / and email.
Thank you for everything you do,
Sally and the Save the Whales and Our Oceans Team at Environmental Action
1. Interior Department Announces Next Step in Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Planning Process for 2017-2022. U.S. Department of the Interior. March 15, 2016.
2. Giulia C.S. Good Stefani. Members of Congress Call for Halt of Seismic Airguns in the Atlantic. December 10, 2015
3. Sen. Booker Calls For Ban On Seismic Testing For Fossil Fuels In Atlantic. CBS News New York. April 22, 2016.
4. Scientists alarmed by ‘seismic blasting’ by oil industry in the Arctic Ocean. Greenpeace. August 24, 2015.
5. Helen Scales. Atlantic Seismic Tests for Oil: Marine Animals at Risk?. National Geographic. March 1, 2014.
6. Douglas Nowacek. Scientists: Seismic Surveys Could Threaten Endangered Whales. Duke University. April 14, 2016.
7. Warrick, Joby. As decision nears, opposition builds to offshore drilling along Atlantic Coast. The Washington Post. December 20, 2015.