Thursday, August 30, 2012

More seismic testing resources

Local news outlets are giving the PG&E seismic testing project. Television station KSBY has a page devoted to seismic testing. Their coverage relies heavily on PG&E spokesmen, but that's a limitation of television news. They get a lot of credit for announcing the NSF public hearing, which the newspapers missed.

New Times, the alternative weekly, has another good story this week, as well as an opinion piece by Cambria resident Roger Cleary. Matt Fountain covered the Morro Bay City Council meeting where the five members unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the project. Morro Bay doesn't have any legal say in the process, but being on the record about it will help the Coastal Commission understand what the issues are and how the local community feels.

A "Thank the Whales" demonstration is planned for 10 am - 2 pm Saturday, September 1 at Port San Luis, where lots of local humpback whales have been surfacing, feeding. I'm not sure who is organizing it, but the message I got said there would be prizes for the best signs and help in writing letters opposing the testing.

Another NSF report from 2011 blandly certifies that marine seismic research won't have any effect whatsoever on marine life along the California coast. This astonishing conclusion is difficult to credit, but there you are. No gray or humpback whales along the California coast in summer, so no problem! The blasts simply won't bother otters or seals. QED. NSF and its partners, USGS and NOAA, should be ashamed. I invite them out here to witness the whales and dolphins feeding.

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has a statement of Policy Guidance regarding human-induced noise that includes "Under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has the authority to regulate certain sound-producing activities within sanctuaries, on a sanctuary-by-sanctuary basis, based on the list of activities that are subject to regulation in the designation documents of individual sites." PG&E has eliminated the route that would have included part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, but it's still very close. 

Laws were enacted to protect the ocean in this area and all its inhabitants, the entire ecosystem. If the laws don't protect it from 250-decibel blasting for more than a month, what does legal protection mean?

No comments:

Post a Comment