At the Aquarium
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.
She is among a group of attorneys general from states up and down the East Coast suing to stop the Trump administration from opening up the Atlantic Coast to oil and gas drilling.
This comes after 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 on November 30, 2018. These surveys use extremely loud seismic airgun blasts to map the seafloor and are the first step to finding oil and gas deposits. Seismic surveys—and the subsequent offshore oil and gas production they make possible—will negatively impact commercial fisheries, marine ecosystems, and some of the region’s most endangered dolphins, whales, and turtles.
Dr. John Mandelman, Vice President and Chief Scientist of the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, introduced Attorney General Maura Healey by detailing some of these threats: Not only can seismic testing be outright lethal, Dr. Mandelman explained the sonic blasts from airguns can also induce chronic stress levels that can compromise the long-term health of individual animals and populations—from the tiny plankton on which so many species feed, to the fish on which we feed, to the largest of the marine mammals.
On December 6, the New England Aquarium joined with other public aquariums to publicly voice opposition to this seismic testing.
Attorney General Maura Healey expressed similar concerns for our ocean, industries, and coastal communities. The lawsuit announced today is an effort to stop the Trump administration from opening the Atlantic Coast to seismic testing for oil and gas exploration.
Additional speakers included New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Wendy Northcross, President of the Fishing Partnership Support Services J.J. Bartlett, and President of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association Angela Sanfilippo.
After the event, Healey was all smiles when she got to meet—and feed!—our most famous resident, Myrtle the green sea turtle. Lettuce and Brussels sprouts are some of Myrtle’s favorite foods.