NC Aquariums swim away from seismic testing

FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration over offshore drilling tests, launching a legal fight against a proposal that has drawn bipartisan opposition along the Atlantic coast.

Seismic testing is described as shooting large blasts of air down to the ocean floor to map oil and natural gas reserves, but it could come at a cost.

On Friday, the North Carolina Aquariums announced their opposition to seismic testing.

They say these blasts are the equivalent of 140 to 200 decibels.

They compare that to a rock concert producing 120 decibels and a jet engine producing 140 decibels at 100 feet.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Associate Director Brian Dorn says seismic testing has been shown to affect animals from zoo plankton all the way up to large mammals like whales.​

“It creates a lot of noise, it’s a loud noise,” Dorn said. “A lot of marine life depends on sound for any number of things. For finding food, for finding each other. Just to navigate through the oceans.”

Dorn went on to say that the ocean has been described as the lungs of the Earth because of how much oxygen it produces, not to mention the food resources and temperature control it provides.

“It’s been described as the lungs of the Earth, cause it does produce that much oxygen, it produces so many resources that we need to survive on this planet,” Dorn said.

He says if the ocean is not healthy, we could all be affected.

“Some of them that are endangered, some of them close to extinction,” Dorn said. “So we want to make sure we voice our concern for the animals.”

The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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