02 • 01 • 2014

Cape Fear Chapter Leads Protest Against Seismic Testing

By Surfrider Foundation

The front lines of Surfrider's Atlantic Seismic campaign have moved to Kure, North Carolina! Last week the Cape Fear Chapter helped lead a community protest against proposed seismic exploration for oil and gas in the Atlantic ocean. Hundreds of people showed up at Kure Beach Town Hall to oppose Mayor Dean Lambeth's decision to sign a letter supporting seismic testing written by a lobbying group of the American Petroleum Institute.

During the three hour meeting, citizens waved signs as the city council listened to presentations on the issue. Emotions flared when the mayor moved the public comment period from the beginning to the end of the meeting. As the mayor attempted to restore order, Surfrider's Cape Fear Chair, Ethan Crouch, suggested that moving up the public comment period would help diminish the outbursts. Ultimately the public was heard during hours of inspired testimony with all but a few speakers expressing strong opposition to seismic testing. 

The Department of the Interior is scheduled to make a final decision this spring on whether to conduct seismic surveys off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast. The proposed surveys would employ loud and damaging technologies, causing major impacts to marine wildlife and the ecosystem. According to the Department’s own estimates, seismic exploration would injure upwards of 130,000 whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals over the next eight years. The surveys would also impact millions of other individuals through disrupting mating, feeding, communication, and migration activities. 

Moreover, offshore drilling is inherently polluting and dangerous, and it will not solve our nation’s energy needs. According to the Department of Energy, fully developing all of our recoverable offshore oil reserves would lower pump prices by only 3 cents. Such a tradeoff is not worth the risk to our coastal economies, including tourism, recreation, and commerical fishing, which generate billions of dollars in annual revenue on the Atlantic coast.

Please sign the petition to oppose seismic testing in the Atlantic!

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