Kure Beach divided on seismic testing - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Kure Beach divided on seismic testing

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KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Mayor Dean Lamberth of Kure Beach signed a letter from America's Energy Forum that asked for his support in seismic testing and natural gas exploration.

The Kure Beach Town Council voted at their December meeting for the mayor to sign the letter that would be sent to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The mayor says he signed the letter in support because the federal government is decreasing funds for beach re-nourishment.

By allowing these companies to test for natural resources, Lamberth says this would be another source of funding for beach re-nourishment.

Commissioner Emilie Swearigen says offshore drilling and seismic testing are methods that are harmful to the coastal community.

Cape Fear Area based environmental groups agree. They say seismic testing uses air guns. These air guns send pulses miles down to the bottom of the ocean which disrupt ocean life. They say air guns can cause sea life to lose hearing from the deafening sound of the blast.

Swearingen says our area needs to preserve beaches and marine life to maintain a strong tourism economy.

Mayor Lamberth says based on his research, seismic testing is not harmful to the ocean life.

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