Santa Monica, CA (November 14, 2012) – After eight hours of testimony that included comments from Surfrider Foundation, activists and ocean lovers alike, the California Coastal Commission denied Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) the necessary permit to conduct seismic testing off the Central California Coast. The Commission unanimously found the project inconsistent with the Coastal Act.
“We are pleased the California Coastal Commission strongly upheld the Coastal Act by denying this terribly harmful project,” says Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, Surfrider Foundation’s California Policy Manager. “The large public attendance today demonstrates just how citizens can greatly influence decision makers. Surfrider Foundation believes taxpayers, ocean users and marine life are better off because of this decision.”
During the hearing, which was standing room only in the Santa Monica Civic Center, Surfrider Foundation Chapter representatives, staff, and supporters took the stand one after another to voice their opposition to PG&E’s application to conduct an extensive seismic surveying project along the coast of San Luis Obispo. The project, which is being done under the auspices of gathering information for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, involves towing powerful air cannons off the Central Coast, shooting deafening underwater explosions (upwards of 250 decibels) every 13 seconds for 17 straight days. The Surfrider Foundation and other groups maintain that similar surveying information already exists and the project unnecessarily puts marine life at risk.
“We thank the Coastal Commissioners and staff for taking a stand in defense protection our coastal recreation and marine life. While everyone wants a safe nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon, this project was not the right way to get there, says Dr. Chad Nelsen, Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director. “The threats from seismic testing to marine wildlife and ocean recreation are so severe it should be considered the last resort, not business as usual.”
This victory would not have been possible without the support of Surfrider Foundation’s Activist Network.