Seismic Airgun Testing

Recently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved opening the Atlantic Coast to seismic airgun blasting to survey for oil and gas resources. Seismic airgun blasting will cause major impacts to marine wildlife, like the endangered Right Whale. Additionally, seismic testing is the first step toward opening the Atlantic to offshore oil drilling.

The Florida Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation are united in their opposition to seismic testing in the Mid- and South Atlantic. Here’s how you can get involved!

Why take action?

On July 17th, 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced its decision to proceed with extensive seismic airgun testing off the Mid- and South Atlantic coasts. Seismic airgun testing will cause major impacts to marine wildlife and bring the Atlantic coast closer to the risky practice of offshore oil drilling, the same practice that led to the disastrous Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago.

The planned surveys will employ loud and damaging technologies, causing major impacts to marine wildlife and the ecosystem. According to the Department’s own estimates, seismic exploration will injure upwards of 130,000 whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals over the next eight years. The surveys will also impact millions of other animals through disrupting mating, feeding, communication, and migration activities.

Furthermore, offshore drilling is inherently polluting and dangerous, and it will not solve our nation’s energy needs. According to the Department of Energy, fully developing all of our recoverable offshore oil reserves would lower pump prices by only 3 cents. Such a tradeoff is not worth the risk to our coastal economies, including tourism, recreation, and commerical fishing, which generate billions of dollars in annual revenue on the Atlantic coast.

How can I help?

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Representatives Murphy, Posey, Frankel, Graham, Hastings, Brown, Castor and Wilson have filed legislation that would prohibit seismic airgun blasting off Florida’s coast. Seismic Moratorium Act (H.R. 2279,  H.R. 2276, and S.1171) would prohibit “oil and gas-related seismic activities in the exclusive economic zone off the coastline of the State of Florida.”

  • Submit letters or OpEds to your local newspaper to express your opposition to new offshore drilling and seismic testing

Where can I learn more?

Learn more about the Surfrider Foundation’s Not The Answer Campaign!

Check out this PSA produced by the First Coast Chapter, featuring Jim Lindberg of Pennywise.

Learn more about the bioacoustic impacts to marine mammals.

To learn more about the Surfrider Foundation or for additional information on protecting Florida’s coast from seismic airgun blasting, contact Holly Parker at

Connect With Us