Myrtle Beach Sun News
Letter to the Editor
October 27, 2016
Sandra Bundy, Murrells Inlet
All of us who live, work and own businesses along the Atlantic seaboard should be very concerned about the federal government permitting seismic testing for oil off the Atlantic coast. Not only will this eventually lead to offshore drilling, which is vigorously opposed by communities all along the Atlantic, but the seismic testing process used is very damaging to our marine wildlife.
That’s why the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast was recently organized. As a founding member of this group, which at present represents businesses from New Jersey to Georgia, most of the small business community is opposed to seismic testing both out of concern for the economic damage that will result from seismic testing itself and the inevitable disaster the subsequent offshore drilling would cause to our vibrant coastal economy.
In a news story, Professor Richard Viso of Coastal Carolina University, unfortunately, painted a picture of seismic testing being considerate to whales and other marine wildlife and described the airgun blasts used in the process as “a sonic boom.”
The latter is correct. But it’s not just one sonic boom. It’s one every 10 to 12 seconds for months on end.
Our South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has expressed concerns about seismic testing’s short and cumulative effects on marine mammals, endangered sea turtles and protected fish species. The agency has warned that the federal government’s assumptions about the impact of seismic testing “could contribute to a serious underestimation of the significance of potential sound-related impacts” to our marine wildlife.
We stopped plans for now to allow offshore drilling off our coast. We must now stop destructive seismic testing, which serves no purpose other than to lead to offshore drilling.