WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The federal government is hearing from New Hanover County residents on surveying for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast.
Those opposed to seismic testing off our coast say there are alternatives to oil and gas that should be explored first before we start tearing up the ocean floor.
"It has an incredible impact on marine animals like whales and dolphins and sea turtles," said Carina Barnett-Loro. "But we're also concerned that seismic testing is really the first step toward drilling for oil and gas off North Carolina."
The idea of testing and potentially finding oil and gas off the coast has some residents concerned about the future of the ocean and marine life. Instead, they think the government should consider alternative forms of energy like wind.
"Because we have such an incredible resource in offshore wind here in NC and we know that, it would be a much better alternative to develop offshore wind off the coast than offshore oil and gas," said Barnett-Loro.
Supporters of the seismic surveys say other energy sources are an option, but they believe oil is the answer.
"We all embrace the notion that we need all of the above when it comes to energy. There is certainly a role for solar, for wind and for nuclear and for geothermal. But the heavy lifting in the energy arena is by oil, gas and coal and it's going to be done for decades to come," said Bill Weatherspoon.
Another public hearing is scheduled for tonight at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside at 7:00 p.m.
No decision on moving forward will be made tonight.
In fact, the Department of Interior says a final decision will not be made until December.