Target: Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
Goal: Oppose seismic testing in the Atlantic that could injure thousands of marine mammals and cripple the fishing industry.
The Obama Administration has recently announced plans to allow seismic exploration of the Atlantic Ocean to search for offshore oil and gas. This exploration would harm hundreds of thousands of marine animals, many of whom are endangered. The seismic testing would also have harmful impacts on the fishery industry, and in turn the economy.
The Atlantic coast has been off limits to exploration since the 1980s, but recently it has been proposed to remove those restrictions. The plan is to open up the coast from Florida to New Jersey for high-intensity seismic exploration. The seismic blasts would be at decibels louder than a jet taking off and would go off every few seconds for weeks. The testing would be destructive to marine ecosystems. It would harm marine mammals’ feeding, breeding and migration. The loud sound would drive whales and fish from their habitats. For fish, the seismic testing can kill their eggs and harm their hearing making them unable to find prey. For marine mammals, like endangered whales, the testing could cause hearing loss and lead to death. Whales have poor eyesight and depend heavily on their hearing; when that is taken away, they die.
The second concern of the seismic testing is that it is a precursor to offshore oil drilling. The purpose of seismic surveying is to locate offshore oil reserves and determine their size. The ships emit rays that map out the seafloor. After the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, environmentalists are highly concerned about the repercussions of offshore oil drilling.
The other main concern is the harm this testing would do to the Atlantic fishing industry, a more than $11 billion industry. A number of fishermen have voiced their concerns over the seismic testing. The seismic rays would dislocate fish and deplete the population, making fish harder to catch. The testing would prove to be harmful for Atlantic coastal economies.
Protect marine wildlife from assault and save the Atlantic fishing industry. Tell our government that you oppose seismic testing off the Atlantic coast.
Dear Secretary Ken Salazar,
I am writing to urge you to halt the plan to allow seismic surveying off the Atlantic coast. The testing would be detrimental to marine wildlife, the environment and the coastal economy.
The testing would send sonic blasts into the ocean that would make endangered marine life suffer. The testing could lead to the death of whales, dolphins and fish. The testing would also harm the fishing economy off the Atlantic coast by killing fish eggs and depleting fish populations, making catching fish difficult. The fishing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that we cannot afford to lose. The government needs to be focusing on how to improve the economy, not hurt it.
Seismic testing is just a precursor to offshore oil drilling which has led to environmental catastrophes in the past. Please learn from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster and do not allow any more oil drilling in our oceans.
I urge you to keep our ocean safe and protect whales and dolphins from this assault. I urge you to put the interests of small business fishermen before large oil companies. Protect fishing and tourism industries off the Atlantic coast and save jobs. I insist you halt plans to allow seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas off our Atlantic coast.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: D.Fletcher via Flickr