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Petitioning California State Lands Commission/ PG & E

To not execute severly damaging seismic testing

The Central Coast is protected under the Marine Life Protection Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is, variously, a National Marine Sanctuary, Marine Protected Area and Coastal National Monument. These protections were enacted to protect the area and its inhabitants from harm. Regulations specify No Take: harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

The proposed Seismic Testing will subject these creatures – which include 22 cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), six kinds of seals and sea lions and sea otters, plus sea turtles, fish and other sea creatures such as abalone and urchins – to blast high-energy air guns every 15-20 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 41 days. Decibel levels are proposed to be 190 db, but may be louder. This is substantially louder than punishing sirens at 140 decibels. Sound cannons used by police transmit voice commands at 162 db that can be heard 5.5 miles away. That’s through the air. Water carries sound much better, over longer distances.

Marine mammals depend on sound to navigate through their environment. Nothing could be more disruptive to their lives than blasting them with air guns. Even a single blast could damage, disorient and kill an animal close by. That many will be killed and more driven away from their homes on the coast is acknowledged even in the Environmental Impact Reports.
If they survive physically but change their behavior so that they abandon their homes or migration routes, we have no way to asses those impacts. That’s exactly why the Marine Mammal Protection Act expressly forbids harassing them. This is the only home they have. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of it – or at least not blast them out of it.

The coastline is protected for good reasons, both economic and philosophic. If legal protection does not include forbidding seismic testing, then the idea of protection becomes meaningless.

Environmental victories are temporary, but defeats are permanent, has been attributed to several environmental champions. Don’t allow PG&E to inflict this permanent environmental defeat under your watch.

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  • California State Lands Commission/ PG & E

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