Oceans help feed the world, provide a living for millions of people, and are home to most of the life on the planet.

NRDC works to protect our seas from pollution and exploitation. We help implement laws that allow overfished species to rebound, and we fight to protect coastal communities from offshore drilling. We work to ban destructive fishing practices, conserve ocean treasures, and improve stewardship of the world’s shared oceans, which generate trillions of dollars in economic activity.

Our Priorities

Ocean Protection

Oceans are threatened by overfishing, oil and gas drilling, mining, and other industrial activities.

Ocean Threats

Oceans are damaged every day by oil and gas drilling, pollution, and other industrial activities.

Sustainable Fishing

Populations of tuna, swordfish, and other large species have fallen by 90 percent.

Ocean Noise

The amount of noise in the ocean has doubled each decade since the 1950s.

What's at Stake

What you can do

Protect Marine Life

Urge NOAA to strengthen its plan to reduce industrial ocean noise.

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution

What you need to know about ocean acidification

Stop Trump and Pruitt’s escalated anti-environment assault

Follow these eco-friendly beach tips on your next vacation

The Real Lowdown: The Trump and Congressional Republican Assault on Our Environment, Vol. 15
NRDC

Bears Ears National Monument is in danger, more international embarrassment, rollbacks to an air pollution rule, and NRDC sues—again.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt ran into trouble on June 15 defending the indefensible: President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget that proposes to eviscerate the EPA.

Testifying before a key House panel, Pruitt brought some trouble on himself. He conveniently couldn’t recall if his agency budget zeroed out funding from the get-go for the Great Lakes Recovery Initiative. He also claimed—falsely—victory in more than a dozen lawsuits he helped bring against the EPA as Oklahoma attorney general. And he seemed to ask Congress to change the Clean Air Act to allow more dangerous pollution.

Some trouble came from Democrats who flatly rejected Trump’s proposed EPA budget—a 31 percent reduction that would slash funding for dozens of health, science, environmental, and climate programs. But Pruitt also encountered surprising headwinds from fellow Republicans questioning the depth of cuts to the EPA and to a handful of specific programs that do good work in their states.

Afterward, Rhea Suh, president of NRDC, was left to wonder: “Who is protecting our environment and health? “It certainly isn’t Scott Pruitt,” she wrote. “In nearly two hours of testimony . . . Pruitt offered not a single idea for protecting our air, water, and lands from pollution; defending the health of our children; or fighting the growing dangers of climate change.”

Pruitt is expected to take his Trump budget defense to Senate appropriators later this month. In other ways, the Trump Team’s march to undo long-standing health and environmental protections continued unabated—but not unchallenged.

Zinke to Bears Ears—Make It Bears Earlobe

On June 12, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took the first step toward drastically shrinking Utah’s culturally, historically, and visually rich three-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. If he succeeds, it may need a new name: Bears Earlobe.

Zinke’s move is an affront to the indigenous peoples who hammered out plans to protect lands they hold sacred, said NRDC President Rhea Suh. She added that it “sends yet another chilling signal about the Trump administration’s intent to hand over irreplaceable American landscapes to mining and fossil fuel interests.” But the fight isn’t over yet.

Tell Interior Secretary Zinke to stop the assault on our national monuments

Pruitt’s EPA: Make Chemical Plants Dangerous Again

On June 12, the EPA delayed until 2019 a federal standard approved in the Obama era to make chemical plants safer. It had been advanced after a 2013 fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 workers. Between 2004 and 2013, 1,500 similar incidents at chemical facilities injured more than 17,000 people and killed 58. The EPA’s stalling move runs counter to public opinion—a 2015 poll showed that 79 percent of likely voters supported such safety measures.

From Bologna to Baloney

Before delivering his misleading testimony to House lawmakers, Pruitt dissed our allies by bailing out early—after spending just two hours there—from a two-day G7 climate summit in Bologna, Italy.

Pruitt soon resurfaced at what CNN called the “weirdest Cabinet meeting ever” on June 13, where Trump’s senior team heaped upon him unalloyed accolades. At his turn, Pruitt told Trump that in Bologna he delivered the message that the United States “will be focused on growth and protecting the environment.”

NRDC’s David Doniger noted, “And then he [Pruitt] added, in a bald-faced lie: ‘It was received well.’ Baloney.”

Tell Trump we won't stop fighting global climate change

NRDC Sues Trump for Holding Up Energy Savings

You might think Trump would be open to helping Americans save money. Think again.

On June 13, NRDC and Earthjustice, representing Sierra Club and the Consumer Federation of America, plus 11 states and the City of New York, sued the Trump administration for illegally delaying five energy efficiency standards set in motion in the Obama era that would save consumers as much as $11 billion. They are for portable air conditioners, air compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers, packaged boilers that heat one-fourth of the nation’s commercial floor space, and uninterruptible power supplies—backup battery systems used in computers and other electronics.

“We’re standing up today for American families and businesses,” said Kit Kennedy, director of NRDC’s Energy & Transportation program. “These delays are hurting their budgets and creating uncertainty for U.S. manufacturers that need to make critical decisions about their product lines.”

NRDC Lawsuit Prompts Reinstatement of Mercury Safeguard

One bright spot appeared in the past week. On December 15, 2016, the EPA issued the Mercury Effluent Rule, intended to protect Americans from the more than five million tons of mercury—a dangerous neurotoxin—that dental offices dispose of into the water every year.

After the EPA withdrew the rule early this year, NRDC sued, and on June 9 the agency responded by reinstating the rule. “Protecting the public—and not responding to a lawsuit—should have been motivation enough for this sensible action,” said NRDC attorney Margaret Hsieh.

That’s this week’s Real Lowdown. In this era when our health and environment are under assault by Trump and congressional Republicans, NRDC has prepared a list of other far-ranging threats. And we’re vigilantly reporting on the administration’s attack on the environment through Trump Watch.

Trump Watch: NRDC tracks the Trump administration’s assaults on the environment.

Blog Post

A budget that puts our health and environment last, reopening the door to highway pollution, and more attempts to squash progress on climate action.

Blog Post

A day that will go down in history as the time America turned its back on the world, plus more climate denial and attacks on our health from the EPA.

Blog Post

While America was riveted by former FBI director Comey’s testimony, the Trump administration put marine mammals and sage grouse at risk, continued to lie about climate change, and changed the DOI’s mission statement to favor polluters.

Blog Post

Pruitt and Zinke are all for cutting their agency’s staff, and Zinke wants to put more money in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry.

Blog Post

We saw a major victory against the administration’s pro-polluter agenda—but the attack continues on our public lands, science, and clean energy.

Scott Pruitt Defends the Indefensible
Rhea Suh

Today's budget testimony from the EPA Administrator leaves us wondering who exactly is protecting our environment and health.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

On the basis of congressional testimony Thursday from our nation’s top environmental steward, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, I can’t help but wonder: Who’s protecting our environment and health?

It certainly isn’t Scott Pruitt.

In nearly two hours of testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee, Pruitt offered not a single idea for protecting our air, water, and lands from pollution; defending the health of our children; or fighting the growing dangers of climate change.

He focused, instead, on plans to gut the budget and slash the staff of the EPA, roll back protections for clean air and water, and renege on our global commitments to reduce the carbon pollution that imperils the planet.

He never directly discussed climate change, beyond defending President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and vowing to dismantle the single-most important measure we’ve taken at home to address the problem: the plan to clean up the dirty power plants that account for 40 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint.

Pruitt spent so much time talking about coal, gas, and oil, you might have thought he was the secretary of energy. But he pointedly refused to so much as acknowledge the clean, renewable wind and solar power that accounts for two-thirds of all the new electric generating capacity our country has installed over the past two years.

This is an agency head completely disconnected from the environmental threats of our time, the opportunities we have to address these ills, and the agency’s congressional mandate: to protect our environment and health.

On several occasions, Pruitt outright misled the public. Pruitt claimed, for example, that a Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan suggests the plan is unlawful on its merits. The court has indicated no such thing. He also claimed the EPA lacks legal authority to regulate carbon pollution from power plants, factories, and oil refineries. The Supreme Court has ruled otherwise three times―in 2007, 2011, and 2014.

Pruitt repeatedly asserted his respect for the rule of law and process. The truth is, he respects those laws he supports―and challenges the rest. On Thursday, Pruitt directly attacked consent decrees, court-ordered directives that have the full force of law. And his purported fealty to process has not prevented him, in practice, from racing to withdraw or amend without meaningful public comment duly established rules and regulations that were years in the making.

Pruitt, in fairness, was sent to Capitol Hill to defend the indefensible. Subcommittee chairman Ken Calvert, a California Republican representative, was joined by several of his GOP colleagues in telling Pruitt they wouldn’t support the draconian cuts Trump has proposed for the EPA. In essence, they said, the budget threatens our environment, our health, and our economy.

Trump called for cutting the agency’s budget by about one-third, reducing funding to 1990 levels while slashing agency staff by nearly 3,800. That’s a 25 percent reduction in the scientists and experts we depend on to protect us from toxic pollution, contamination, and environmental harm that threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

A bipartisan consensus made clear that those cuts are a nonstarter in Congress, which holds the power of the purse. “We have a moral obligation to safeguard our planet and ensure that our children and grandchildren have a healthy future,” said New York representative Nita Lowey. “This budget would fall short of that obligation.”

As Ohio representative Marcy Kaptur, put it, “America really can’t afford to shortcut our environment and human health.” White House plans to end an EPA program to clean up industrial pollution, chemical contamination, and invasive species from the Great Lakes drew fire from Kaptur and her fellow Buckeye, Representative David Joyce. Great Lakes restoration is “creating new opportunities and a brighter future for our shoreline communities,” said Joyce. “I view it as a national treasure.”

Stop Trump and Pruitt’s escalated anti-environment assault

There was similar criticism for the administration’s proposal to end EPA funding to clean up iconic waterways from the Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound. “We can’t afford the EPA to check out on Puget Sound recovery,” said Washington representative Derek Kilmer, whose district includes the storied waterway, which he said supports more than 60,000 direct jobs and returns $24 in economic activity for every $1 invested in cleanup.

Calvert said he would work to restore agency funding for the EPA’s popular Energy Star program. Trump has proposed killing the program, which in 2015 cost taxpayers $50 million and saved consumers and businesses some $34 billion in energy costs by helping to identify energy-efficient appliances and equipment.

And on it went.

It’s reassuring, I suppose, that neither party supports Trump’s dark vision of gutting the EPA. After all, as Nevada representative Mark Amodei, put it, “Nobody’s standing on the rooftops begging for dirty air and dirty water and dirty soil.”

The larger question is, what’s the plan for protecting those resources, defending public health, and going after the central environmental challenge of our time? We didn’t get an answer Thursday from the man who’s supposed to be the nation’s top environmental steward. Even when Congress restores much of the EPA funding Trump seeks to end, the administration has told us what its priorities are: protecting big polluters, not our environment and health.

Pruitt affirmed those objectives, making clear that he’ll continue to try to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, move forward with efforts to revoke the Clean Water Rule―which protects the streams that feed drinking water sources for one in every three Americans, along with countless wetlands―and otherwise weaken or eviscerate the safeguards we all depend on to protect our environment and health.

The American people deserve better. Pruitt needs to stop trying to defend the indefensible and focus instead on defending our environment and health.

Oil & Oceans Don’t Mix: Say No to New Offshore Drilling
Adrianna Quintero

I love the ocean. Its enormity inspires me, impresses me, moves me. Its future worries me. As the famous Oceanographer Sylvia Earle said, “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” Whether we live in the deserts of Nevada or near the beaches of my native Florida, we are all connected to the oceans and for this reason, we must all do our part to take care of the ocean. 

Every year, on June 8th the world marks International Oceans’ Day, and this year it served as an important reminder of the risks that our oceans and all that depends on them face. In April, President Trump took the first troubling step towards opening the Arctic and Atlantic, and potentially the Pacific, to expanded offshore oil drilling and attempted to undo the much-needed permanent protections currently in place.

Besides being another move to enrich huge, international oil companies that pollute our country and worsen climate change, expanding drilling not far from our coastlines is simply too high risk.

Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous practice that pollutes the ocean and puts our coastal communities and sensitive marine ecosystems at huge risk of the harms from a catastrophic oil spill. But the limits don’t stop at the coasts. Even for those living inland, these impacts affect us all. Covering 71% of our planet, the ocean impacts everything from our food to our water, air and climate. These oceans, beaches, coasts, belong to all of us, and we must keep them safe and healthy for everyone to enjoy.

Seven years ago, the U.S. suffered the worst drilling disaster in our history. The BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting massive oil spill killed 11 people and leaked 3.19 million barrels of oil and gas into the ocean about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana for 87 days.

Despite this and other disasters, Trump wants to sell off more of our publicly managed coastal areas to the oil industry and the administration has begun taking steps to make this a reality. His executive order proposes to open the Arctic and Atlantic to new offshore oil drilling, seeks to remove important security measures for oil extraction operations, and attempts to remove protections designed to preserve our most valuable, ecologically rich ocean resources. The Department of the Interior has already announced plans to allow seismic blasting off the Atlantic coast—a dangerous precursor to drilling. These loud underwater explosions harm marine life and disrupt sensitive ecosystems and the activities surrounding these like fishing, recreation and tourism.

Communities across the country have already declared their opposition to expanded offshore drilling and are sending a message to our elected leaders to keep dirty, dangerous oil drilling, including the seismic exploration for oil, off our coasts and out of the ocean.

Latino, African American, Asian American, indigenous communities have expressed strong opposition to turning these public waters over to private companies, recognizing that expanded “Atlantic and Arctic drilling leaves us all vulnerable to disasters that pose an unacceptable risk to our oceans, beaches, coastal communities, marine life, and to the livelihood of the millions of Americans who depend on healthy oceans for fishing, recreation, and tourism dollars.”

Communities in the United States and around the world are directly suffering the impacts of climate change on their health, security, and way of life, and want action. Our communities cannot wait. Not only are we more likely to experience asthma, sea-level rise, and other negative health impacts due to the pollution driven by carbon and other fossil-fuels, millions in our communities rely on healthy oceans to sustain our economies and feed our families. Our future depends on clean renewable energy, not sacrificing our oceans to drill for oil that harms our families’ health and pollutes our world.

Over the next year, the Department of the Interior and Congress will consider options for expanding offshore drilling to regions including the Mid- and South Atlantic, Florida’s Gulf Coast, the California Coast, and the Arctic Ocean. This misguided move ignores the fact that clean energy is now the fastest-growing and cheapest source of power in the country. Far more Americans want to preserve our oceans than sell them to oil companies to exploit.

The millions of Americans who live in these areas know all too well what’s at stake. Americans who live inland know what's at stake as well, because whether we live in Colorado or Virginia, Alaska or Houston, all of us know that reckless government actions like these, which threaten our public lands—places that belong to all of us—must be stopped.

Please visit our campaign page and tell Secretary Zinke and President Trump to keep drilling off our coasts and protect our oceans and our world.

* This post was updated to correct a typo and for clarity on 6/20/17

The Real Lowdown: The Trump and Congressional Republican Assault on Our Environment, Vol. 14
NRDC

While America was riveted by former FBI director Comey’s testimony, the Trump administration put marine mammals and sage grouse at risk, continued to lie about climate change, and changed the DOI’s mission statement to favor polluters.

Demonstrators protest President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, June 3, 2017.

Susan Melkisethian/Flickr

With most of Washington riveted by former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill, President Trump and his team quietly kept putting our health and environment in jeopardy—and meeting more resistance. 

Over the past week, the Trump administration moved against marine mammals and sage grouse and recast the U.S. Department of the Interior’s purpose to promote fossil fuels rather than conserve public lands in the public trust for future generations.

At the same time, though, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt drew harsh criticism as he attempted to put a positive spin on Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. And NRDC sued the Trump administration, seeking to protect Americans from dangerous methane pollution. 

Seismic Steps Toward Drilling in the Atlantic

On June 5, Trump put marine mammals at risk. He proposed to allow four companies to blast huge stretches of undersea waters with air guns as they prospect for oil and gas deposits. NRDC, which produced the movie Sonic Sea, about threats to ocean life from seismic testing, decried Trump’s move.

“Lawmakers, commercial and recreational fishermen, hundreds of communities, and tens of thousands of coastal businesses strongly oppose this reckless giveaway to the oil and gas industry and will stand in the way of final permits,” said Michael Jasny, director of NRDC’s Marine Mammal Protection Project. 

Sage Grouse at Greater Risk

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order on June 7 calling for a “review” of plans to protect the greater sage grouse, upending years of work on the grouse’s behalf. “It is going to create huge uncertainty for land managers, developers, and the western states,” said NRDC wildlife expert Bobby McEnaney

A Pack o’ Prevarications from Pruitt

Three days after Trump announced that he’ll pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, Pruitt the Prevaricator hit the Sunday talk show circuit. His performance was so bad on ABC, NBC, and FOX that it earned him the Washington Post fact checker’s worst rating, four Pinocchios.

That was mainly for saying that since the fourth quarter of last year, “we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs” in the coal sector, or in both coal and mining. The Post found that, with the widest interpretation of job growth, Pruitt’s “data is not made up out of whole cloth, but the claim is so tortured that it screams.” 

Also in defense of Trump’s move, Pruitt cited a study purporting that the Paris plan would cost billions and hurt jobs. NRDC analysts Kevin Steinberger and Amanda Levin thoroughly debunked the study, saying it grossly inflated costs and ignored health and economic benefits. 

Finally, Pruitt suggested the Paris climate agreement would mitigate global warming by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, citing an MIT study. Problem is, the author piped up and said he “disagrees completely” with Pruitt’s characterization of the study.

Americans Respond to Trump’s Paris Pullout: “We’re Still In”

The reviews keep coming on President Trump’s Paris pullout. Spoiler alert: They’re anything but boffo. 

Trump is far out of step with the American people about addressing climate change. A full 6 in 10 oppose withdrawing from the Paris plan. And more than 1,200 mayors, governors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities have signed on to the message “We Are Still In” the Paris Agreement. 

Tell Trump we won't stop fighting global climate change

NRDC Sues Over Trump Illegal Methane Pollution Rollback

On June 5, NRDC sued the Trump administration for acting illegally by suspending Obama-era protections against methane leaks and other air pollution from new oil and gas wells.

“Stopping methane leaks is a no-brainer—avoiding wasted gas, creating jobs, fighting climate change, and cutting cancer-causing pollution all at once. We will not stand for this blatant polluter giveaway,” said NRDC senior attorney Meleah Geertsma.

It’s the first NRDC suit to stop Pruitt from dismantling climate and clean air protections advanced under Obama, wrote David Doniger, head of NRDC’s Climate & Clean Air program.

Mission Makeover: Interior Department Favors Fossil Fuels

In ways large and small, Team Trump is all-in for fossil fuels. Around June 6, that again became clear in a mission makeover at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Here’s the Obama-era mission statement: “The Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.” 

And here’s the Trump era’s: “Our Mission: Protecting America’s Great Outdoors and Powering Our Future. The U.S. Department of the Interior protects America’s natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures and tribal communities, and supplies the energy to power our future.” 

Tell Interior Secretary Zinke to stop the assault on our national monuments

Trump’s Mexico Border Wall: Pay for It with Solar

The president's 2018 budget proposal guts a number of clean energy programs and initiatives, leaving many to wonder: Where in the world would he back clean power? In a meeting in early June with GOP leaders, Trump suggested sticking solar panels on top of the wall he wants along our southern border. They'll pay for the cost of the wall, Trump suggested.

But Greentech Media outlined the costs and potential power generation involved and determined that logistical issues would “make building a solar wall very difficult and unlikely to become a reality.”

That’s this week’s Real Lowdown. In this era where our health and environment are under assault by Trump and congressional Republicans, NRDC has prepared a list of other far-ranging threats. And we’re vigilantly reporting on the administration’s attack on the environment through Trump Watch

Trump Watch: NRDC tracks the Trump administration’s assaults on the environment.

Blog Post

More pro-polluters appointed, a barrage of dangerous bills advanced, and Bears Ears under threat—again. But there’s one bright spot: bold climate action in Virginia.

Blog Post

A budget that puts our health and environment last, reopening the door to highway pollution, and more attempts to squash progress on climate action.

Blog Post

A day that will go down in history as the time America turned its back on the world, plus more climate denial and attacks on our health from the EPA.

Blog Post

Bears Ears National Monument is in danger, more international embarrassment, rollbacks to an air pollution rule, and NRDC sues—again.

World Oceans Day Comes at a Critical Time for High Seas
Lauren Kubiak

As we celebrate World Oceans Day this year, world leaders, businesses, scientists, and NGOs are gathered in New York at the first ever United Nations Ocean Conference. Threats to the ocean—including acidification from excessive carbon emissions, pollution, and overexploitation—continue to mount, but at the Ocean Conference, there is strong evidence that political will is building to reverse the degradation of the ocean.

“The health of our oceans and seas requires us to put aside short-term national gain, to avoid long-term global catastrophe,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres during the conference opening on Monday.

So far, in connection with the Conference, over 1000 countries, organizations, and stakeholders have made commitments to improve the health of the oceans. In sessions on sustainable fisheries, ocean acidification, and marine pollution, there is a steady and consistent drumbeat from nations—to save the oceans, nations must act together to share resources, intelligence, and build scientific and technological capacity.

One of the best opportunities to save the oceans is to protect the high seas, the area of ocean beyond national jurisdiction that makes up two-thirds of the ocean and nearly half the planet. When nations return to the UN next month to decide how to move forward in high seas protection, they will be making a decision critical for the future for the ocean.

Isabella Lövin of Sweden addresses the General Assembly Hall during a special meeting for World Oceans Day.

Lauren Kubiak

High Seas Discussions Represent Biggest Opportunity to Protect Oceans

Today, the high seas lack modern management mechanisms to address critical components of biodiversity conservation, such as the establishment of fully protected marine reserves. To fill those governance gaps, nations have been engaged in discussions at the UN to develop a new treaty to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ). Discussions continue next month, during which nations will decide whether to convene formal diplomatic negotiations to develop the text of the new treaty.

States agreeing to move forward and convene an intergovernmental conference in 2018 is vital, as this new treaty represents an unparalleled opportunity to conserve two-thirds of the ocean. Finalizing a treaty would be equivalent to a Paris Agreement for the ocean—a once in a generation opportunity to begin to reverse the degradation of our ocean.

At the Ocean Conference this week, countries including Argentina, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, Palau, Spain, among others, have called for strong international provisions to protect the high seas. Their leadership is critical and we hope is an indication that next month’s discussions will be successful.

As world leaders today discuss how best to protect the ocean, I hope they recognize the high seas as our best opportunity to ensure a healthy future for our ocean. All of us depend on it.  

A large school of fish swims near Kingman Reef, an area in the Pacific where marine life enjoy the types of protections needed in areas of the high seas.

Lauren Kubiak

The Trump Administration Moves Closer to Allowing Drilling Off the Atlantic Coast
NRDC

The seismic exploration permits it has proposed would authorize energy companies to blast Atlantic waters with air guns and harm marine mammals. 

Leo Francini/Alamy Stock Photo

In a first step toward drilling off the Atlantic coast, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed to issue five permits—known as Incidental Harm Authorizations—that allow energy companies to harm marine mammals as they search for oil and gas deposits beneath the seafloor. In their exploration, the companies use seismic air gun blasts, which are as loud as dynamite and occur every 10 seconds for weeks and months on end—and can deafen whales and other marine wildlife, making it hard for them to navigate, find food, select mates, and avoid predators.

“It’s a license for energy companies—in their relentless drive for more fossil fuels—to devastate marine wildlife,” Michael Jasny, director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project, said. “Scientists warn that seismic activity alone could drive the endangered North Atlantic right whale to extinction. Lawmakers, commercial and recreational fisherman, hundreds of communities, and tens of thousands of coastal businesses strongly oppose this reckless giveaway to the oil and gas industry, and will stand in the way of final permits.”

The move follows President Trump’s April 28 executive order attempting to reverse permanent ocean protections and open America’s coastal waters to more offshore drilling. The public has 30 days to comment on the today’s proposals.

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