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Scientists To Obama: Stop Atlantic Oil Exploration

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Marine scientists from across the globe are joining a growing number of Floridians opposed to oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.

In a letter made public Thursday the 75 scientists warn the seismic testing would have a widespread and long-lasting impact on marine life.

Nine applications already have been submitted to conduct the testing from Delaware to Florida.

Scott Kraus of the New England Aquarium says each company wants its own proprietary information, meaning the region would be exposed to multiple explorations.

“Each acoustic blast, if you thought about it I guess a terrestrial analog would be like throwing a stick of dynamite into a suburban neighborhood every 10 seconds. And never mind the damage from the explosion just think about the sound of that.”

He says the sound only would exacerbate underwater noise pollution.

“Think of yourself in a bar, and there’s a lot of noise in a bar. And you can barely hear the person next to you, but you certainly couldn’t hear someone just 10 feet away, and that’s what is happening to whales in the ocean.”

The Obama administration approved the testing last summer. It could start as soon as later this year.

Municipalities across the East Coast of Florida are opposed to the exploration.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »