The Gulf Stream is a virtual river that is 50 miles wide and over a mile deep. It is one of the most studied currents in the world due to its global impact on weather, fisheries and navigation.
It has more water flowing than all the rivers in the world combined, measured at almost 4 billion cubic feet of water per second. Its flow rate is almost six miles per hour.
Basically. the Gulf Stream starts in the Gulf of Mexico, runs north along the continental shelf of the East Coast and ends up in Norway with the influence of other streams affecting it. The Gulf Stream is used extensively by marine life to navigate and feed.
That includes bottlenosed dolphin, humpback whales, blue and yellow fin tuna, fin whales, sailfish, sword fish, orcas, sharks, cod fish, herring and right whales that have their young off our coast every year.
Right whales are an endangered species numbering fewer than 400 today. Countless numbers of game fish and their food sources are supported by the flow of the Gulf Stream.
The Gulf Stream stirs the bottom of the ocean and propels initial food sources into the beginning of the food chain.
There is phytoplankton, microscopic plant form, and zooplankton, microscopic animals and immature stages of larger animals. Plankton is a major component in the oceans ecosystem which feeds the smallest of animals that in turn become a food source for larger animals, such as humans.
The action of the Gulf Stream has a direct effect on the rich fishing grounds off the entire East Coast from Florida to Nova Scotia. The Gulf Stream Literally shapes all life in the North Atlantic
Combinations of wind on the surface and formations on the ocean floor help to create reverse currents, heavy seas and swirling action that gives the North Atlantic the reputation of the roughest ocean in the world, sort of like a giant washing machine. You can’t vacuum up the Atlantic Ocean.
Enter seismic testing, a project being considered by our government to allow big oil to use sea going vessels to generate sound waves, 100,000 times stronger than those of a jet engine, fired into the floor of the ocean to locate oil deposits in a 300,000 square mile strike zone from Virginia to the GeorgiaFlorida line.
The Bureau of Energy Management has admitted that these exploding sound waves will kill a couple hundred thousand animals.
Their estimate is low. Seismic sound waves will deafen marine life dependent on their hearing to find food, avoid predators, socialize and reproduce.
Marine animals, just like humans, can suffer the bends (air bubbles in the blood stream), and die a painful death. Massive blasts of seismic sound waves every few seconds can cause just that. That is if the seismic waves don’t hit them directly. The sound waves used in seismic testing will literally rip flesh from the bone. Seismic testing is a death sentence for hundreds of thousands of marine animals.
The 84 miles of continental shelf that Georgia has off her coast, a comparatively shallow area, is part of the targeted area for seismic testing and is perfect for drilling for oil. Big oil just recently objected to the limits suggested. They want a four mile limit from our shoreline. There is a 12 mile limit to foreign intrusion. Foreign oil wells 12 miles off our coast?
If oil deposits are found through a system doing massive damage to the fragile ecosystem of the North Atlantic, then comes the oil well drilling and eventually the inevitable
ruptured oil well. Not if, but when.
The coastal region and the Gulf Stream stand to be coated with an infusion of crude oil that will kill everything in its path, plants and animals, at sea or ashore. Coat the plankton on the sea floor with deadly oil. Fill the gills of fish with it. Coat the sea turtles and their food sources with it.
As of today, over 126 East Coast municipalities and over 1,200 local, state and federal elected officials have formally opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic blasting along the Atlantic coastline.
There are many hundreds of municipalities along the eastern seaboard from Virginia down that have officially protested searching for or drilling for oil. As I understand it, Savannah/Chatham County and Brunswick/Glynn County have already officially protested against seismic testing off the Georgia coast.
However, to the best of my knowledge, Bryan, Liberty, Camden and McIntosh counties, and the municipalities therein remain silent.
We are looking at irreversible damage that could be done to a multi billion industry centered on fisheries and recreation from New England to Florida with a very negative effect on millions of jobs.
Greedy oil pushes a false narrative of "energy independence" and "jobs" when we are actually experiencing a decline in the need for fossil fuels in this country. Big oil can likely eliminate more jobs than they produce along our coast.
Follow the money. Neither the product nor the money it generates comes to us. We are expected to shoulder the unacceptable threat to our coastal economies and our way of life. We are expected to turn away from the inhumane attack on marine life along the entire length of the eastern seaboard.
Speak out. Contact your local, state and federal representation. Maybe enough voices will deflate the influence of big oil’s money in Georgia politics.