Christie vows to renew fight against seismic tests of NJ coast

Gov. Chris Christie says the state will continue to fight plans for seismic tests off the New Jersey coast.

Researchers at Rutgers University say the underwater acoustic blasts are part of a study of sea level and climate change.

The state Department of Environmental Protection sued last year to prevent the testing, but a federal court ruled against the state. The testing, however, was called off when researchers experienced equipment problems.

Speaking near the boardwalk in Belmar Friday, Christie said he’s still against it.

“Amazingly, we’re fighting our own federal government and own state university who want to do this,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s not smart. We shouldn’t do it.”

Clean Ocean Action executive director Cindy Zipf hopes Christie’s opposition makes a difference.

“When the state university is called upon by the state governor to back off, I would think they would take that seriously and back off,” she said.

Zipf says the seismic blasts are as loud as a rocket launch and put marine life at risk.

“Anything that wants to migrate north is going to be blocked, anything that wants to migrate south is going to be blocked, and anything in the path of it is going to be harmed,” she said. “I mean, if they were going to be doing this to puppies or kittens or anything like that, there would be riots in the streets. This is animal cruelty.”

Rutgers, the University of Texas and the National Science Foundation want to do research on sediments deposited on the ocean floor as global sea levels changed over 60 million years.

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