Off shore drilling has been a hot topic throughout the State of Florida, especially in recent years as oil and tar continues to wash up across the Gulf Coast following the devastating BP spill from several years ago. Thankfully, however, Jacksonville hasn’t been the topic of much of that conversation. Here on the First Coast, we haven’t been living under a threat of having oil rigs installed just off our shore line. As we head out to our beaches we don’t have to think about seeing workers drilling within eyeshot of our sand castles. Instead, we can go to the beach and enjoy the clear waters filled with Mantas and Dolphins. In a lot of ways, the First Coast has been lucky as far as Florida’s Beaches go.
Well, there are some who are saying our luck has run out—and many who are scared that the current applications to start seismic testing in Jacksonville Beach will actually hurt property sales in Florida. Siesmic testing is a precursor to offshore drilling. It is a form of testing that uses incredibly loud underwater sound waves to determine where there is oil under our oceans.
Siesmic airgun testing is advertised as a way to survey the ocean floor for its “energy” potential. Basically, it is a way that they can figure out what is underneath the ocean floor. If it is good, then in come the drills to get it out.
The testing is incredibly loud. Basically how it works is that a massive loud noise would be sent out underwater every couple of seconds for about eight years. The level of sound is such that it would cause us hearing damage—and we aren’t alone there. The noise would destroy the hearing ability and mating habits of many of the underwater creatures, potentially killing off already endangered species.
Environmentalists are incredibly concerned that the seismic airgun testing would be devastating for Florida’s waterways and beaches, and many real estate experts are equally concerned about what the testing could mean for our beachside property sales. Overall, it is important that this testing is not permitted on the First Coast.