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Oceana, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy hold forum on risks of seismic testing offshore for oil, natural gas

The threats to marine life and coastal recreation from seismic testing offshore will be taken up at public forum Wednesday.

Oceana and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy are hosting the educational forum 6-8 p.m. at the Rita Hollings Science Center, Room 121, College of Charleston, 58 Coming St.

Federal regulators are considering permitting the tests off the East Coast to explore for oil and natural gas. In seismic tests, crews detonate compressed air guns dragged behind ships, creating a series of blasts to read the “echo” beneath the sea floor. The blasts can deafen or injure marine mammals, such as whales or dolphins, that navigate by sonar echoes, and are suspected of injuring other marine life.

The tests could kill more than 130,000 marine mammals and put more than 700,000 fishing and tourism jobs at risk, according to a recent Oceana report.

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