Ocean City, Maryland – (January 10, 2019): The Ocean City Mayor and City Council have expressed their opposition to seismic blast testing off the coast of the resort community. In a letter sent to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Acting Director Dr. Walter Cruickshank, Mayor Rick Meehan stated opposition against any actions off the coast which could potentially harm Ocean City’s ocean environment.
“The process, done to locate potential under-sea oil and gas deposits, uses high powered compressed air cannons to blast sound waves into the ocean,” stated Meehan. “The impact of seismic blasting can cause harm to marine mammals as well as highly migratory fish species such as tuna, which are critical to the commercial and recreational fishing industries in Ocean City.”
Ocean City’s disapproval of offshore oil drilling and waste dumping dates back to 1974, when the Town’s elected officials passed a resolution to oppose similar legislation to seismic blast testing. Further, in 2015, the Mayor and City Council joined with several other coastal communities and unanimously passed a resolution against seismic blast testing.
“The recent permits issued by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, combined with the pending permits being reviewed by BOEM, open the door for seismic blast testing and ultimately offshore oil and gas drilling off the Ocean City coastline,” Meehan continued. “The short term benefits of oil and gas exploration or any large scale industrial activity in the ocean pale against the permanent catastrophic environmental and economic harm that such activity will cause. We are urging BOEM to preserve our beach and ocean by denying any permit applications related to oil and gas exploration and development off the coast of Maryland.”