Oceana | Protecting the World's Oceans

Stop Seismic Airgun Testing in the Atlantic: Elected Official Sign-On Letter

As a representative of a coastal community you know how import the health of our oceans are. 

The Obama Administration is currently considering a proposal to allow seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean to search for oil and gas. Not only is seismic testing the first step toward East Coast drilling, and the inevitable oil spills that will follow, but seismic airguns are incredibly disruptive to marine wildlife and fish. The Department of Interior estimates that more than 138,000 whales and dolphins could be injured or killed by seismic blasting in the proposed area.

Please sign on to the letter below calling on the Obama Administration to prevent seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic.We’ve succeeded in delaying the decision three times so far, but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently took a step forward in opening up the Atlantic to seismic airgun testing and offshore drilling.

For additional information check out this short video, or read our report highlighting the threats of seismic airgun testing.

Your Info

    Not ? Click here.

    Dear Pres. Obama and Secretary Jewell of the US Department of the Interior

    I am writing to urge you to halt proposed seismic airgun testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean. Proposed seismic airgun testing would span from Delaware to Florida, but the impacts would be felt in communities throughout the entire East Coast—potentially harming sea life, ecosystems, fisheries and coastal economies.

    The use of airguns to conduct these seismic tests threatens fish populations and profitable fisheries. In fact, airgun noise has been shown to decrease catch rates of certain fisheries. Commercial and recreational fishing off the mid and south Atlantic generates billions annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. The Department of the Interior's assessment ignores the economic impacts the proposed seismic testing will have on fisheries and the fishermen who rely on the oceans for their livelihoods.

    Additionally, the type of seismic airgun testing used to search for oil and gas is incredibly harmful and could injure or possibly kill thousands of marine mammals and fish, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Seismic airguns fire intense blasts of compressed air - almost as loud as explosives - every 10-12 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days to weeks on end. These loud airgun blasts can be heard for many hundreds of miles in the ocean and can drive whales to abandon their habitats, go silent, and cease foraging over vast areas. At shorter distances, airguns can cause permanent hearing loss, injury, and even death for whales, dolphins and fish.

    Proposed seismic airgun testing will result in serious negative impacts to our marine resources that form the foundation of economic vitality for communities all along the Atlantic coast. We urge your administration to stop this process and focus on ensuring the vitality of vulnerable coastal economies along the Atlantic Coast. We cannot continue to put our ocean environment, beaches, marine resources, and coastal economies at risk.