Coalition opposing offshore seismic testing to rally in Barnegat Light Wednesday

    U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., is shown in this February 2013 photo in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file).

    U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., is shown in this February 2013 photo in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file).

    A coalition comprised of elected officials, environmentalists, trade organizations, fishermen, and citizens will rally in Barnegat Light Wednesday against a federally approved plan to conduct seismic testing off Long Beach Island. 

    The opponents fear that the plan, approved Tuesday by the National Marine Fisheries Service to allow acoustic blasting noises, could harm marine life and disrupt the state’s fishing industry. The permit issuance allows harassment or harm to creatures, including whales and turtles that otherwise would be forbidden by federal law.

    The tests are designed to study the arrangement of sediments deposited on the ocean floor during times of changing global sea levels dating back 60 million years.

    “The fight is not over. We are using all options available, including public opposition,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action, in a release.

    The National Science Foundation still needs to sign off on the testing.

    The coalition will rally at an emergency meeting slated for 5 p.m. Wednesday in Barnegat Light, “where Congressman LoBiondo, local elected officials and hundreds of citizens can learn more about what is being done and how to help,” Zipf said. 

    The meeting is at the Barnegat Light Fire Hall (10 W. 10th Street) in Barnegat Light.

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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