Oceana, an international organization founded solely for ocean conservation posted today on their website the small step in delaying seismic airgun blasts along the east coast of the United States. Sheryl Crow is posted on the Oceana website in a call to action to participate in signing petitions, contributing to Oceana and sharing the information of the website.
Ms. Crow and Oceana CEO, Andrew Sharpless, helped to spread the word in an editorial for the Huffington Post, which appears on the Oceana website today.
Last week began the beginning of a month-long 10-stop East Coast tour for Oceana’s climate team. The team will be working with local organizations to host panel discussions on the hazards of seismic blasting. The kick off for the public forums series began last Monday with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.
The proposed testing area would range from Cape May to Florida, a size twice the size of California. This turns the East Coast into a blast zone. The effects are shown in a short video presented at the kick-off and available through the work of Oceana and its partners Clean Ocean Action, Sandy Hook Sea Life Foundation and Sierra Club New Jersey to bring about the event.
Oceana’s Advocate Nancy Sopko described the process of seismic airgun testing which large ships tow an airgun up and down the coast; then the airgun blasts compressed air down toward the seafloor, which needs to reach oil and gas deposits miles below the surface. The airgun blasts are emitted every 10 seconds, 24 hours a days, weeks on end.
Jessica Coakley, Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council Specialist included the economic factor. The Mid-Atlantic States have a $535 million dollar a year commercial fishing industry at the kick-off night. This can be devastating to the industry.
The following excerpt posted on the Huffington Post and available on the Oceana website today is as follows: “Imagine you are in the ocean, you hear the lapping of waves, the squeals of dolphins, and the swish of swimming schools of fish—all sounds you expect to hear underwater. But then a boat glides overhead, and the chatter is drowned by a deafening roar. Sonic blast after sonic blast—100,000 times more intense than the roar of a jet engine—is shot from the boat, annihilating all other ocean sounds.”
Oceana reaches out with Sheryl Crow to share this information and the website with friends and others, so that voices will be heard.
The UN Intergovernmental Climate Control Panel concluded last Friday with their 36 page summary report that man is 95% responsible for global warming due to fossil fuel burning. This will add impact to Oceana’s campaign to save marine life, as well as the economic livelihood of fishermen and the tourist industry.
The Federal Court of Northern California issued a ruling last Monday that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to assess the impact of US Navy sonar testing on whales and marine life in the Northwest United States. The NMFS used faulty data and failed to view recent scientific data. The permits to the US Navy are now under reassessment
These panels, court rulings, environmental and ocean ecology groups have more scientific data on their side to reach out to the people and ask for sensible plans for the future of the planet through responsible action.
The government after campaigning by Oceana and its allies spared the Atlantic from this fate when the Department of the Interior postponed their decision on whether to allow seismic airguns off the Atlantic coast. The delay pushes back the timeline for oil and gas exploration and buys marine life needed time. The delay must lead to a permanent alternate plan, however.
Sheryl Crow editorial calls for an airgun free Atlantic:
Oceana kicks-of forum on seismic airguns in New Jersey:
The Huffington Post September 23, 2013
The Debate is over
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