Photos courtesy of Hurricane Creekkeeper

Offshore Drilling

The oil and gas industries continue to prove that they lack the technology to safely drill at the bottom of the oceans; witness the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which occurred on April 20, 2010, and continued for 30 days.  This clearly proves that the industry is ill-equipped to stop a leak from damaging the aquatic ecosystem.​

We at Coastal Carolina Riverwatch are STRONGLY OPPOSED to offshore drilling.  We stand with residents, businesses, communities, even government agencies to protect our coast from this devastating practice.​

Are we willing to risk the same fate for the Crystal Coast and the entire Atlantic Seaboard?  That answer is a resounding “NO!!!”.​

Let’s stand together to prevent this devastating protocol.  Look for opportunities to join with us to help protect our coast.

Seismic Blasting

Seismic blasting is the method used to “explore” beneath the ocean floor to locate oil and gas deposits. Large vessels tow an array of airguns blasting highly compressed air into the water and onto the ocean floor. Reverberations are interpreted to determine if energy sources might be present. This practice is needed before offshore drilling can take place.

So what is Seismic Blasting? It is an explosion, the loudest sound in the oceans. Blasts are 100,000x the decibel intensity of a jet engine taking off and can travel for several miles. Think of this type of sound explosion in your living room, then imagine it occurring every 10 seconds, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for months on end.

Marine mammals rely on sound for vital behaviors such as feeding, communication, and navigation. The release of seismic air blasts, repeatedly, every 10 seconds for indeterminate amounts of time will disrupt these functions, affecting populations for years to come. The federal government has determined we can expect harm to marine mammals by the hundred thousand, including the critically endangered Right Whale.

Coastal North Carolinians are dependent on fishing. This industry, along with tourism brings in billions of dollars annually. There is evidence that seismic airgun blasting can reduce catch rates up 50% on average for thousands of square miles.

Seismic exploration can even harm plankton. Plankton levels have been shown to drop by 64% following a seismic blast. Plankton is the basis of the food chain, meaning these effects will magnify onto other forms of wildlife in ways that would be unintended, unpredictable, and ultimately will affect human activities.

These changes to our coastal ecosystems will be reflected in coastal economies, heritages, and our right to a viable future.

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch STRONGLY OPPOSES this practice due to the devastation it will create off the coast.  Join with us in this fight to protect the Crystal Coast and the entire Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Check out our original film series Seismic Truth

Here’s what you can do…

  1. Contact your local, state, and federal legislators asking them to oppose drilling and seismic blasting.
  2. Stay tuned for public comment sessions on upcoming permits and resolutions. Comment in person or submit a written comment.
  3. Use resources on this page to write a Letter to the Editor to media sources.
  4. Vote in every election for candidates who value environmental protection.
  5. Adopt practices in your everyday life to reduce fossil fuel usage. Don’t forget, single-use plastic is made from petroleum.


Seismic Fact Sheet

Oil Spills & Tourism Don’t Mix

Fishing, Seismic Testing, and Offshore Drilling

Five Truths About Oil & Gas Drilling Off NC Coast