COA is currently investigating a proposal by the NJDEP to use seismic surveying equipment to look for sand deposits which would be appropriate for summer 2016 beach replenishment.
The use of seismic surveying technology has the potential to disrupt critical marine mammal behaviors such as: communicating, feeding, mating and migrating. Furthermore, the summer months are some of the most critical times of the year off our shores for these animals.
While the size of the air guns for this proposed project are much smaller, and the depth of their focus much shallower, it is incumbent that COA carefully review these types of projects. COA’s primary focus is to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are taken and alternate times of the year are considered. With this project, vital offshore sand deposits that support fish habitats should not be targeted for harvesting.
COA will update the public as the situation develops and will continue our work to ensure that the ocean ecosystem is protected from any potential seismic blasting.