The Trump administration has just approved 5 separate permits for the use of seismic airgun blasting off of the Carolina coast for the purpose of surveying potential offshore oil reserves.
According to OCR.org,
“The surveys are conducted by trawling arrays of airguns behind a ship which explode every 10-15 seconds. The noise permeates the seafloor and the signal that reflects back is deciphered to portray the substrates below.
These surveys can often be heard thousands of miles from the source and are known to disrupt whales and fish in various ways, including killing them.”
Here is an audio recording of an underwater seismic blast;
“The sound itself, every 10 seconds, is as loud as a grenade and they happen 24 hours per day, seven days per week for many months on end,” commented Amy Armstrong, Executive Director of the SC Environmental Law Project.
According to Armstrong, the relatively new process is having significant on fishing communities. “It drives fish away from their feeding grounds and from the areas fishermen go to harvest commercial or recreational fish,” she said.
The SC Environmental Law Project is now representing 16 coastal Carolina towns and organizations in a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration in an attempt to stop the testing from moving forward.
The American Petroleum Institute, however, has stood by their ocean surveying process, claiming that it does not adversely affect marine populations.
According to their most recent statement:
“In the words of the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), ‘there has been no documented scientific evidence of noise from air guns used in geological and geophysical (G&G) seismic activities adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities.”
What are your thoughts on seismic blasting and potential oil drilling off the Carolina coast?