Seismic testing for oil and gas off Maryland and other Atlantic coast states could cause widespread harm to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and fish, as well as to fishing and tourism, an environmental group warned Tuesday.
The Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is weighing applications to conduct offshore seismic testing from Delaware to Florida. Officials say the testing could update previous estimates that there are 1.9 billion barrels of oil and 21.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas technically recoverable off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast.
But Oceana contends marine mammals and fish, including several endangered species, could be disrupted, harmed or even killed by the testing. Commercial and recreational fishing and tourism could suffer as a result, the group said. A total of 80,000 Maryland jobs in those industries would be at risk, according to Oceana.