The Trump Administration has proposed opening the Atlantic Ocean to new offshore oil and gas development.
This represents a danger to New England’s pristine and treasured coastline and the valuable ocean ecosystems of the U.S. Atlantic.
With the exception of Maine and Georgia, every governor from Florida to New Hampshire has publicly denounced the current administration’s proposal to allow offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production in the U.S. Atlantic Exclusive Economic Zone—the area within 200 miles of the U.S. coastline.
It’s not just our state leadership. Fishermen oppose this. Local businesses and chambers of commerce oppose this. The people oppose this. Despite a formidable wall of opposition, President Trump and his Department of the Interior continue to disregard the will of the American people in favor of corporate interests.
We need to increase that opposition. By standing together, in one voice, we can protect our backyard from dangerous offshore oil and gas development.
Right whale Catalog #2145 and calf in 2014. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission under NOAA permit #15488.
The Dangers of Offshore Oil and Gas
On November 30, 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gave the green light for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to launch a series of seismic surveys by private companies along the Atlantic coast. These surveys use extremely loud seismic airgun blasts to map the seafloor and are the first step to finding oil and gas deposits—and therefore the first step to oil and gas development in the U.S. waters of the Atlantic.
Scientific studies show that when seismic surveys happen, fewer fish are caught, more zooplankton die, and marine mammals struggle to flourish. These surveys, and the development that comes with them, will negatively impact commercial fisheries, marine ecosystems, and some of the region’s most endangered dolphins, whales, and turtles.
Climate change is only going to make matters worse. In the Northeast, warmer ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification threaten our commerce, tourism, and recreation. Ocean ecosystems are being disrupted by rising temperatures, loss of habitat, and changes in species composition and food web structure, which will impact our iconic fishing industry.
What can you do to help?
Sign up for updates. Due to the federal shutdown, we’re not sure when the Administration will release its five-year oil and gas plan. Sign up for email updates (form at the top of the page) and we’ll keep you up to date.
When the Trump Administration releases its proposed five-year national outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program, we’ll send you instructions for letting your voice be heard during the public comment period. You’ll only have 90 days to comment once the plan is released, so be sure to sign up for updates.
In the long-term: Actively support state legislation introduced in Massachusetts (or any Atlantic state) that bans offshore oil and gas from our state waters.
Together, we can help protect the ocean Only by standing together and speaking in one voice can we ensure that New England and the Atlantic Ocean remain free from the threats of offshore oil and gas in our waters.
Seismic Surveys Pose Threat to Atlantic’s Marine Life
Scientific studies show that when seismic testing happens, fewer fish are caught, more zooplankton die, and marine mammals struggle to flourish.Learn more
Attorney General Sues to Stop Seismic Testing
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey made an important announcement from the top of our Giant Ocean Tank today.Learn More
Event on Jan. 10
On January 10, the New England Aquarium convened a panel at our Simons IMAX Theater to learn what’s at stake for Massachusetts from community leaders and experts.