On June 6, 2017, a federal agency (National Marine Fisheries Services/NMFS) announced its review of five corporations’ requests to conduct seismic testing (aka Ocean Blasting) in the Atlantic. This action, a direct result of the Trump Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, is the first step toward offshore drilling for oil and gas.
The notice included five separate Intentional Harassment Authorizations (IHA), which would allow five corporations hired by the oil and gas industry to intentionally blast over 138,000 marine mammals. The applications do not consider the impact of overlapping, concurrent blasting on marine life, nor do they mention the many fish and invertebrate species that will be shocked, stunned and possibly killed by the blasts.
Organizations up and down the coast have responded immediately by drafting comments and empowering citizens to show the federal government their strong, united opposition to these authorizations and their complete opposition to the fast-tracking of offshore drilling in general. Currently, 125 east coast municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials and an alliance representing over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families, have come out as publicly opposed to seismic airgun blasting and/or offshore drilling. The opposition is great, yet the fight is not over. Stay tuned for more information. To submit your comments and voices in opposition, go to COA’s website today.
comment period ends July 6! Update: The public comment period has been extended and now ends Friday, July 21!