Congressman Frank Pallone, the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 6th congressional district, yesterday visited the Belford Seafood Cooperative to highlight the potentially damaging impacts of seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey.
Congressman Pallone specifically addressed concerns regarding the application recently submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to conduct marine seismic surveys off the coast of New Jersey. NMFS has proposed granting permission for the tests that would potentially be conducted this summer. Pallone was joined by Roy Diehl, President of the Belford Seafood Co-Op and Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.
“An environmentally sound coast is critical to New Jersey, and I remain concerned with any activity that could threaten the environment and our local economy, especially the fishing community,” said Congressman Pallone. “Marine seismic surveys could be used to justify offshore drilling. They also risk injuring and disturbing critically endangered species.”
“The NMFS authorization of marine mammal takes does not address the entirety of impacts on marine life; this is why we need more time. The sound blasts will be several orders of magnitude louder than a jet engine at takeoff, every five seconds, all day every day for 30 days, wreaking havoc on marine life up and down the Jersey Shore,” declared Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.
Congressman Pallone sent a letter to Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on April 4th expressing his concern that the results of new proposed seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey could potentially be used to open up the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas exploration. He has requested that the agency grant a 60-day extension of public comment and hold a public hearing to sufficiently review the application submitted to the NMFS