Protect Marine Life from Dangerous and Potentially Lethal Oil Explorations

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Cancel seismic surveys for oil and gas that pose extreme threats to marine animals.

As President Trump opens the Atlantic Coast to oil and gas companies, tens of thousands of miles of ocean may soon be filled with sonic blasts that can harm all sorts of marine life—from whales and dolphins to plankton—according to recent research. Multiple companies are applying for permits to search these waters, using air guns towed behind ships to release air explosively, creating huge sound waves that penetrate the ocean in order to detect oil and gas. These sound blasts prevent marine animals from communicating, and are powerful enough to permanently damage the ears and internal organs of these animals. They can even kill smaller creatures like plankton and their larvae.

Whales are especially impacted because sound is their only means of communication. The constant noise could separate a mother from her calf. It could cause whales to abandon their usual hunting or feeding grounds, as they have been observed retreating from the noise. Although surveyors will not work in areas where whales are known to be, and will stop their work if they see or hear a whale within 500 yards, scientists fear that the sound of the blasts will “mask” marine communication and whales will go unnoticed.

Additionally, marine biologist Doug Nowacek says that these sonic booms may have much more far-reaching effects: “The levels that could still have and do have behavioral impacts extend out tens, and hundreds of miles away from those surveys. There are numerous species off the Atlantic Coast that we don’t have any data whatsoever about their response to seismic.” This means that animals are sure to be exposed to these blasts, and there is no evidence to suggest that this exposure would be safe. Over 70 scientists have written to the president asking him to cancel these surveys. This letter states, “The magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region.” Sign below to demand that these surveys be canceled and marine life be protected.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Plans to allow oil and gas companies to search the Atlantic Coast pose an unacceptable threat to marine life in the area, and must be canceled. Although the Interior Department argues that the seismic blasts used to detect oil and gas will not harm ocean life, recent scientific research suggests otherwise. Not only could the sonic booms disorient marine life like whales and mask their communication, it could force them to abandon the areas they normally inhabit and turn silent waiting for the noise to stop. This means that workers would not realize they are there, and would therefore be unable to follow the safety precaution of stopping their work if whales are within 500 yards.

Additionally, research shows that smaller animals are also affected by these blasts—plankton and their larvae, for example, can even be killed by the sonic booms. There are no safety precautions in place for this type of sea life. What’s more, as marine biologist Doug Nowacek states, “The levels that could still have and do have behavioral impacts extend out tens, and hundreds of miles away from those surveys. There are numerous species off the Atlantic Coast that we don’t have any data whatsoever about their response to seismic.” We may be doing even more extreme damage than we realize if these surveys are allowed to continue. I urge you to protect marine life and to cancel these dangerous surveys.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Christopher Michel

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3 Comments

  1. Seismic airblasting is deadly, why? Because it’s loud, really loud up to 200 db (basically a rocket launch) and because sound can travel really far in water, it only makes matter worse with some estimates in the range of hundreds of miles. just one reason why this shouldn’t be done! You can click this link to read more.
    http://oceana.org/our-work/climate-energy/seismic-airgun-blasting/overview

  2. BAN ALL LETHAL OIL EXPLORATION IN WHALE HABITAT NOW.

  3. Derinda Nilsson says:

    Trump wants to kill all living creature in America. Ban all lethal oil in whale Habitat.

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