Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

In Wake of Superstorm Sandy Ocean Advocates Decry Proposed Seismic Airgun Testing in Atlantic

Oceana

Today, 22 organizations—from fishermen to ocean advocates and marine scientists, including Clean Ocean Action, Oceana and Surfrider Foundation—sent a letter to Secretary Salazar at the Department of the Interior (DOI) requesting that proposed seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean be cancelled in wake of superstorm Sandy.

On March 30, the DOI announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had prepared a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate potential environmental effects of a decade-long seismic and geophysical survey program for the Mid- and South Atlantic Outer-Continental Shelf (OCS) planning areas.

A decision is expected soon from DOI as to which “alternative” will be chosen as preferred. At public hearings held in a few towns and cities this past summer, community, environmental, fishing, faith-based and public interest organizations and businesses called for a “no-action alternative” which would close the door to Atlantic Ocean oil and gas surveys.

From Florida to Maine, the Atlantic coast is in a state of emergency as communities and economies dig out from under the debris generated by Hurricane Sandy. Along many parts of the Atlantic coast, recovery is just getting underway and rebuilding is only distantly on the horizon. Cumulatively, Hurricanes Sandy, Lee, Irene and others, along with nor’easters and other recent extreme weather events have battered the most densely populated parts of the U.S. coastline. The industries and economies upon which many of these coastal states rely are facing a long road of recovery ahead.

“With declared fisheries disasters in New York and New Jersey, entire townships and clean coastal economies in tatters, and uncounted homeless families, it is unthinkable that the federal government would further burden our marine environment with proposed Atlantic Ocean oil and gas activities,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action. “Big Oil had no place in the Atlantic Ocean before this disaster, and the impacts from seismic testing would add unthinkable insult to injury,” Zipf continued.

“Seismic airguns could injure 138,500 whales and dolphins, according to government estimates, and that’s unacceptable,” said Jacqueline Savitz, deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns at Oceana. “The true impacts are likely much higher due to faulty assumptions in the government’s study. Seismic airguns must be stopped to save marine life, and at the very least, the flawed science used to assess these impacts must be revised prior to deciding on next steps."

“Our coastal communities depend on a healthy ocean for industries such as tourism, recreation, and fishing,” said Pete Stauffer, ocean program manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “Allowing seismic exploration off our coast would cause major impacts to the marine ecosystem, and produce more economic hardship at a time we can least afford it.”

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY pages for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A grizzly bear sow with cub in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus

Grizzly bears in Wyoming and Idaho won't be subject to a trophy hunt thanks to a federal court decision Wednesday upholding endangered species protections for these iconic animals.

Read More Show Less
Oregano oil is an extract that is not as strong as the essential oil, but appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. Peakpx / CC by 1.0

By Alexandra Rowles

Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.

However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets Ronaldo Caiado, governor of the state of Goiás on June 5, 2020. Palácio do Planalto / CC BY 2.0

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has presided over the world's second worst coronavirus outbreak after the U.S., said Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus.

Read More Show Less
Although natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, it is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Skitterphoto / PIxabay

By Emily Grubert

Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved two Lysol products as the first to effectively kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces, based on laboratory testing. Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a list of 431 products that are effective at killing viruses when they are on surfaces. Now, a good year for Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser just got better when the EPA said that two Lysol products are among the products that can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveils the Green New Deal resolution in front of the U.S. Capitol on February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Judith Lewis Mernit

For all its posturing on climate change, the Democratic Party has long been weak on the actual policies we need to save us from extinction. President Barack Obama promised his presidency would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow," and then embraced natural gas, a major driver of global temperature rise, as a "bridge fuel." Climate legislation passed in the House in 2009 would have allowed industries to buy credits to pollute, a practice known to concentrate toxic air in black and brown neighborhoods while doing little to cut emissions.

Read More Show Less

Trending

About 30,000 claims contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are currently unsettled. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Bayer's $10 billion settlement to put an end to roughly 125,000 lawsuits against its popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, hit a snag this week when a federal judge in San Francisco expressed skepticism over what rights future plaintiffs would have, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Read More Show Less