New Jersey environmental officials want court to stop ocean blasts-led research

New Jersey environmental officials want court to stop ocean blasts-led research

The New Jersey environmental officials are doing their best to seek a court order at the earliest against a research that involved blasting of the ocean floor with sound waves. The blasting process will kill or harass species including whales, dolphins and turtles.

The intensity of blasting is so much that it includes a air gun blasts 11,500 feet underground that will reach sounds of 250 or more decibels and occur every five seconds, 24 hours a day, for a month and it will be conducted over 230 square miles of ocean floor off Ocean County of New Jersey.

This study by doing such blasts is to be conducted by Rutgers University and the University of Texas. They say that the project will help map climate change over the last 60 million years and augment core samples taken from the ocean floor in 2009.

Many environmental bodies along with a host of fishing, boating and tourism industry groups are against this blasting. They say that blasts will disrupt wildlife and kill fishing prospects off the New Jersey coast, which is home to multi-million dollar fisheries such as scallops and flounder. Others fear that the blasts could affect squid, the food source for most of the finfish in the ocean off the Jersey Shore which will cripple the state's recreational and commercial fishing and boating industries.

Further, the environmentalists believe that data generated by these blasts will further be used by oil companies to justify drilling off the east coast of the United States.

"I have seen some really dumb, stupid things happen out of Washington, but this ranks at the top", said Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine.

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