Underwater sonic boom off coast of Brevard County could kill marine life

Nonprofit group warns about impact on dolphins, whales

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The search for finding more fossil fuels comes with some serious consequences.

Oil and gas companies that want to blast sound pulses 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine into the ocean could injure and possibly kill an estimated 138,500 dolphins and whales, and put thousands of tourism and fishing jobs at risk, Florida Today reports.

The nonprofit group Oceana released a report Tuesday that highlighted federal estimates of wildlife and economic impacts from oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

According to the report, the seismic airguns would put at risk more than $15 billion in economic activity and 400,000 tourism, recreation and fishing jobs in Florida.

"Imagine a rocket being launched out of your living room every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days to weeks at a time," said Matthew Huelsenbeck, report author and marine scientist at Oceana.

Seismic surveys from Cape Canaveral to Delaware are being debated by the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Though the surveys would be from three to 350 nautical miles out to sea, the geological surveys and impacts could cross into state waters closer to shore as well.

A decision on the tests is expected in October.

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