The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a notice to the federal registrar June 6, 2017 alerting the public to a 45-day comment period in response to proposed seismic blasting in the Atlantic from Delaware to Florida.
TRUMP HAS EXPANDED THIS BLASTING AND POSSIBLE FUTURE DRILLING AREA TO BEGIN JUST 3 MILES OFFSHORE FROM OUR COAST FROM DELAWARE TO FLORIDA.
THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS IS JULY 21, 2017
As this notice is in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, comments must ONLY pertain to the effects of seismic blasting on marine mammals.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION BY JULY 20, 2017 SO WE MAY SUBMIT THEM AS YOUR COMMENTS PRIOR TO THE JULY 21 DEADLINE
Dear Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service:
I oppose seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. I ask you consider the following reasons as related to the Marine Mammal Protection Act and NMFS requirements to deny the 5 permits granted to survey companies and stop any further activities related to seismic activity in the Atlantic Ocean.
First, the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) prove that only “small numbers” of individuals from a stock, population, or species of marine mammal are impacted or harmed by offshore activities, like seismic airgun blasting. Given that five seismic airgun surveys are being considered in overlapping areas, there is no way for NMFS to meet this requirement—in fact, the government estimates that thousands of marine mammals could be impacted by these activities. The cumulative impact of conducting 5 seismic airgun surveys overlapping in time and space on marine mammals and marine wildlife in the areas proposed should be considered by NMFS when considering the impact of the proposed Atlantic seismic airgun surveys.
Additionally, under the MMPA, NMFS must prove that the proposed seismic airgun activity will have no more than a “negligible impact” on stocks or populations. Again, this seems nearly impossible with five surveys being permitted, especially for North Atlantic right whales. This population of whales is so endangered, that losing even a few individuals could threaten the survival of the entire species.
Finally, the suggested mitigation measures will be inadequate because there is no baseline data for most of the species that would be impacted, so NMFS and the public will have no way to definitively determine if marine mammal populations are affected by seismic airgun blasting.
Please accept this statement as my individual comments.