Atlantic Beach passes ordinance opposing use of seismic airguns for oil exploration (Florida, USA)

The ocean update

These North Atlantic right whales were photographed in 2009 traveling off the coast of St. Augustine. Photo courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission These North Atlantic right whales were photographed in 2009 traveling off the coast of St. Augustine. Photo courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

September 26th, 2014 (Amanda Durish Cook). On Sept. 8, the City of Atlantic Beach became the fifth town in Florida to formally oppose seismic airgun testing when the city commission passed a unanimous resolution. The city joins the ranks of Cocoa Beach, St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral and St. Petersburg, which all passed similar resolutions earlier this year.

With the force of an explosive charge that’s 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine, seismic airgun surveys shoot compressed air along the ocean floor every one to 12 seconds, 24 hours a day for up to weeks on end. The guns are used for geologic exploration, to find pockets of oil and natural gas that can later be captured.

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