I have read with profound dismay about recent actions of the Trump administration which would allow energy companies to conduct seismic testing off the Atlantic coast. It is unclear to me why such companies continue to assiduously seek new sources of oil when there is currently an abundance of oil extracted via new drilling techniques.
Much more importantly, in my view, there is no question such testing will adversely affect marine life, with potentially disastrous consequences. Government studies cited by an article in the paper indicate it could physically harm 138,000 marine animals and disrupt the migration and feeding habits of an additional 13.6 million. This is far more than “incidentally harassing marine mammals.” It is, in fact, a direct assault on marine life all along the Atlantic coast, and most certainly in South Carolina, which contains some of the rarest and most ecologically sensitive coastal areas in all of America.
There is frankly no excuse for issuing permits for this activity other than the greed of oil companies and the acquiescence of a government which is supposed to protect, and not destroy or significantly alter, the environment. I urge both Beaufort County leaders and everyone who cherishes the natural wonders of our coastal waters to contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to express disagreement with the proposed permits.
Hilton Head Island