The US Department of the Interior recently made a decision to expand offshore oil and gas leasing to encompass around 90% of US coastlines. This means that the coast off of New England, could now be opened up to drilling.
This decision could have severe impacts on the environment, and you can help stop this from happening. The deadline to submit comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is March 9.
Impact of Offshore Drilling
The exploration, development, and production of oil and gas off the Massachusetts Outer Continental Shelf would have severe impacts on fisheries, wildlife habitat, and geological resources.
Offshore drilling could threaten areas like Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which provides feeding grounds for species like the endangered humpback whale and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.
It also poses a risk to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, home to four underwater, extinct volcanoes, which feature thousand-year-old corals found nowhere else on earth.
Massachusetts and all of New England depend on a thriving coastal and ocean economy – which brings in $17.5 billion annually to the region’s – and that success in turn depends on healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems.
Let BOEM know that we can’t afford to place our invaluable natural spaces at risk by submitting comments online today. You can read the comments Mass Audubon submitted and learn more about the issue of off-shore drilling.
Thank you for taking this action to protect the nature of Massachusetts!