Script for calling Mayors, Town Councilmembers And City Commissioners
- Greeting: Hello <TITLE OF ELECTED OFFICIAL,> my name is <FULL NAME> and I live in <COMMUNITY.>
- Opening: I am reaching out to you today to discuss seismic airgun blasting for oil and gas off our coastline. As you may know, the Obama administration has recently made steps toward opening up the East Coast to seismic blasting and offshore drilling, and I have some big concerns.
- Background Information (choose the content that you are most concerned with personally): Seismic testing involves the use of airguns, which are towed behind ships and shoot loud blasts of compressed air at 250 decibels through the water and miles into the seabed to search for oil and gas deposits. These airguns make intense pulses of sound, almost as loud as explosives, every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days to weeks on end. The blasts are so loud and constant that they can injure or disturb vital behaviors in fish, dolphins, whales and sea turtles. Seismic blasting and offshore oil and gas development along the Atlantic could put at risk nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product that rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation.
Marine wildlife: According to the Obama Administration’s own estimates, seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic could injure as many as 138,000 whales and dolphins and disturb 13 million more. There are about 450 North Atlantic right whales left today and they live and give birth in the proposed blast zone—this critically endangered species could be harmed by airgun use in the Atlantic, especially near its calving habitat off the coasts of Georgia and Florida.
Fisheries: Seismic blasting has been shown to displace fish stocks and decrease catch rates of certain fisheries like cod, haddock and rockfish, putting these fisheries and those whose livelihoods depend on them at risk. Seismic airguns can also injure fish and kill fish larvae.
Oil spills and risks to coastal communities: The effects of the BP disaster are still being felt in the Gulf. And the root causes of this tragedy are still largely unresolved. To needlessly expose the East Coast to the threat of oil extraction and spills is short-sighted and irresponsible. Oil spills do not follow state lines. Offshore drilling and the risk of spills in any of the proposed states, is a risk to neighboring states even if they do not want drilling.
- Ask: I would like to encourage you to join the growing movement of coastal communities who are speaking out against this dangerous process. In our state, <NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES OR EXAMPLES FROM NEIGHBORING TOWNS/CITIES> have passed resolutions opposing seismic airgun blasting and/or offshore drilling. Would you be willing to bring this issue up at the next council meeting?
- Thank you and follow-up: Thank you for considering this important issue. I would be happy to connect you with an expert on this issue if you need more information. <Follow-up with whatever information they need OR connect her/him to one of Oceana’s campaign organizers.>