President Obama recently denied six permit applications for oil and gas exploration from Florida to Delaware — including requests to use intrusive seismic blasting. The decision comes three weeks after Obama declared that 31 Atlantic canyons, including the Norfolk and Washington canyons off the coast of Virginia, would be indefinitely off-limits to drilling and mineral exploration because of their rich ecosystems. Marine Connection welcomes this latest news as seismic exploration surveys use high-powered airguns to search for oil which generates one the loudest anthropogenic sounds in the ocean, short of explosives. The blasts, which can reach more than 250 decibels, can cause hearing loss in marine mammals and disturb essential behaviours such as feeding and breeding.
Photo Credit: Angelo Giordano