For Immediate Release, April 21, 2015
Floridians Rally to Oppose Seismic Airgun Blasting in Atlantic
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-— Concerned Floridians, the Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Matanzas Riverkeeper will gather today on Jacksonville Beach to oppose seismic airgun blasting off Florida’s coast — the first deadly step in oil and gas drilling. They will be dressed for their favorite beach activities : surfing, fishing, kayaking, whale watching and general beach loving. The rally will feature presentations by Carolyn Woods, mayor of Atlantic Beach, and Johnny Miller, vice mayor of Fernandina Beach. After the rally they will reconvene at a public hearing hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to voice their opposition to opening Florida’s Atlantic Coast to seismic surveying.
“Seismic airgun blasting is the first step toward expanded oil and gas exploration off our coasts. The blasts alone will cause devastating impacts to our marine mammals, sea turtles and fisheries. Florida cannot risk its coastal and ocean economies to this dangerous and potentially devastating activity,” said Holly Parker, Florida regional manager of the Surfrider Foundation.
“It’ s well-known that seismic surveys interfere with the basic life functions of marine wildlife — from highly imperiled North Atlantic right whales to charismatic, spunky dolphins — and seismic is just the beginning of the end for these beloved animals,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Five years ago Florida’s marine life dodged a bullet with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico . We might not be so lucky next time.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to expand seismic testing to most of the Atlantic Coast, from Delaware to Florida, as part of the Obama administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil drilling. The Department’s own estimates of impacts predict that seismic airgun blasting will injure more than 130,000 marine mammals over the next eight years. Many Florida communities have already opposed the expansion of seismic airgun blasting, with more than 18 municipalities passing resolutions opposing expanded seismic testing off Florida’s coast.
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit surfrider.org
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. www.biologicaldiversity.org
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 600,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.usa.oceana.org.