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October 5, 2012

Seismic Testing off California Coast

Seismic testing is slated to begin off the coast of Central California this November. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) proposed the tests to assess the susceptibility of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Facility to seismic activity. A 240-foot ship will tow powerful air cannons along a 50-mile stretch of the Central Coast, shooting deafening underwater explosions (upward of 250 decibels) every 13 seconds for 42 straight days. This action will be catastrophic to local marine life, especially marine mammals, which rely on their sensitive auditory capabilities for communication and navigation. The takings permit for the project – the estimated amount of wildlife that could be killed – includes 15 blue whales, 13 humpback whales, 1,652 bottlenose dolphins, 1,062 California sea lions and 1,485 southern sea otters There is also the possibility of death or injury to thousands of other marine mammals, and untold scores of fish and birds. This potential loss of wildlife is even more staggering considering it will impact areas specially designated to protect marine life.

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