Division of Coastal Management

Map of the east coast showing the outer continental shelf where drilling would occur.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The state Division of Coastal Management formally objected this week to a company's application for a federal permit to begin oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast from Maryland to Florida.

WesternGeco needs the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval to conduct seismic testing that would involve towing airguns offshore and firing them approximately every 10 seconds for more than 200 days over the period of a year.

 A beach swimmer on the Carolina coast. Officials warn of strong rip tide currents.
Billy Hathorn, Creative Commons

State officials want to hear from the public as they review an upcoming seismic testing project off the coast of North Carolina. 

The National Science Foundation plans to survey the sea floor this fall near several Atlantic states.  Scientists say they want to know more about how our continental crust shifted and stretched. 

They will use up to 36 seismic air guns, which release highly pressurized blasts of air.  Environmentalists have said that will injure marine life and could disrupt migration patterns.