Letters to the Editor 2019

To the Editor: 

Recently in the news, it has been brought up that President Donald Trump is trying to speed up seismic air gun blasts throughout the Atlantic. This is a major problem for millions of people because of its negative impact on the environment.

The federal government estimates that air gun tests will negatively impact hundreds of thousands of marine animals. Not only will the fish and other aquatic species be harmed, but the humans who benefit off such animals as well.

The air gun blasts are so dangerous to the environment because of how loud and frequent they are. Blasts can reach the decibel level of a bomb testing, with the frequency of every 10 seconds.

Studies have shown that after bomb tests happen in an area of the ocean, the sea life suffers. Imagine how much sea life would suffer if there was a bomb going off every 10 seconds for months at a time. That’s what happens when seismic blasts are permitted to happen in the ocean.

The purpose of seismic air gun blasts is to map out where different oil wells are deep under the seafloor. Blasts have a very negative impact on aquatic life because of how loud the blasts are.

Since sound can travel so far underwater the blasts can travel upwards of 2,500 miles.

These blasts are carried out by arrays that are dragged behind boats which can reach sizes of up to 21 times larger than the National Wall in Washington. These blasts can be devastating to all types of aquatic wildlife from fish production to deaths of whales.

The total amount of boats that would be allowed to drag seismic rays behind them is unknown until the permit is passed but those opposed to the passing are fearful that the permit could allow a large number of boats to do so.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management declined the proposal in 2017 because they thought the idea of air guns being shot around the ocean for weeks would eventually lead not just to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of animals but ultimately their deaths.

The president’s reasoning as for why he wants to expedite the permit process which would allow for the arrays to start blast icing all through the Pacific is to create new jobs.

The only problem here is that by doing this oceanic blasting, so much wildlife will be hurt that fishermen, lifeguards, Coast Guard and anyone else who works in beach communities will suffer tremendously because of the blasting.

In the short term, maybe the economy for the big corporations that run the blasting companies may make a lot of money but in the long run, the coastal Atlantic economy will be much worse off for many years to come.

When President Trump is thinking to try to push the permit maybe someone should ask him how it will affect communities all up and down the coastline.