Environmentalists speak out against offshore drilling, seismic blasting

Published: Jun. 7, 2017 at 3:25 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2017 at 7:45 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Environmentalists spoke out against seismic blasting and offshore drilling at a community meeting Tuesday night.

According to officials with Oceana, a group committed to protecting oceans, the Trump administration issued drafts of incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) for seismic surveys. They claim that's a step toward allowing seismic surveys.

Representatives from Surfrider, NC Sierra Club, Oceana and the NC Coastal Federation spoke to around a hundred people Tuesday at the Northeast Regional Library. They urged people to make public comments to their lawmakers opposing seismic testing before July 6.

"We have an incredibly beautiful state, a beautiful coastline and we depend on it for our tourism and we depend on it for our health. And it's just not worth risking all that to essentially put money into somebody else's pocket," said Erin Carey, a program coordinator with the Sierra Club.

New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple also attended the meeting and said the county brought in $500 million from tourism. He said decisions that could jeopardize that need to be thought out carefully.

"Regardless of where you stand on it, something happening three miles from our shore, whether it's seismic testing or oil drilling, etc., is something we have to take a hard look at before we would get behind it," he said.

Attendees volunteered to spearhead smaller groups to write letters and contact legislators. A representative from the group Suit Up also pledged its members to help reach out.

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