Seismic Airgun Testing

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Northeast Florida Republican Congressman John Rutherford is helping lead a bipartisan effort against seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean, which could lead to drilling for oil and gas.

Rutherford said the blasting could hurt coastal businesses relying on healthy oceans.


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A Jacksonville City Council committee on Monday narrowly voted to support seismic air-gun testing off the coast.

Air-gun testing is a method for finding oil and natural gas beneath the ocean floor with loud blasts of air.

The federal government is considering applications for offshore exploration in the Atlantic.

At Monday’s Rules Committee meeting, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors sent biologist Robert Gisiner to speak in favor of seismic testing.

people on beach
Anna Hamilton

The federal government is considering 10 applications for offshore oil and gas exploration along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has asked to delay the permits for further impact studies.

Neil Armingeon says just a few years ago, he didn’t know about seismic airgun testing, a standard method of mapping oil and gas deposits in deep sea beds. Today, though, it’s one of his top priorities.

As the Obama administration opens the door to offshore drilling, the oil industry is promising more jobs and less reliance on foreign oil. Some people who live along the Eastern Seaboard are saying, "no thanks."

Coastal towns and cities in several states are formally opposing offshore drilling and oil exploration.

Tybee Island, Ga., is a short drive across the marsh from the historic city of Savannah. The island is dotted with hotels and tiny vacation cottages for tourists — and for about 3,000 people, it's home.

Just about everything that we do in the water makes noise. When we ship goods from country to country, when we explore for oil and gas and minerals, when the military trains with explosives or intense sonar systems — the noise travels.

But these man-made noises are making it impossible for sea creatures to communicate with themselves, something that is integral to their survival. Michael Jasny, the director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says we have to quiet down.