Christopher Clark is a bioacoustics expert at Cornell University who studies the rumblings of blue whales and right whales across the Atlantic Ocean. He reports that marine life is being drowned out by “the industrialization of the sea.”
The Trump administration is promoting seismic blasting as a precursor for gas and oil exploration, reversing President Barack Obama’s efforts to protect the Southeast’s coastal waters.
Clark reports that air gun blasts are “orders of magnitude louder than the loudest ships,” and they produce a “storm of noise” that severely disrupts the entire ocean environment. Many species of marine life rely on sound to survive. These air guns fire into the seabed every few seconds, 24/7 for months. Sound wave patterns reflected back to the ship provide possible locations of fossil fuel reserves.
It is estimated this could cause more than “13 million harmful interactions with marine mammals, killing or injuring 138,000 whales and dolphins.” Among these is the North Atlantic right whale, which is already endangered, as less than 450 remain (Southern Environmental Law Center).
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Many local governments along the East Coast have voiced opposition to offshore drilling. While serving as South Carolina lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster openly opposed offshore drilling. However, since becoming governor, he has yet to formally disapprove of the plan. McMaster was an early supporter of Trump’s presidency. Is he perhaps putting politics above what’s best for South Carolina’s coastal communities?
Let your voice be heard. Oppose both seismic blasting and offshore drilling.
Hilton Head Island
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