Politicians ask Rutgers to cancel ocean blasting tests

New Jersey’s state senate president and a congressman representing the Jersey shore are asking Rutgers University to cancel planned research that involves blasting the ocean floor with sound waves.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. wrote to Rutgers president Robert Barchi on Friday, saying the testing will harm or kill marine animals including turtles, dolphins and whales, and harm New Jersey’s crucial tourism industry.

It’s due to start next month.

Rutgers, the University of Texas and the National Science Foundation want to do research on sediments deposited on the ocean floor by changing global sea levels dating back 60 million years.

But opponents say it also could be a precursor to drilling for oil and gas off New Jersey’s coast, which is currently not allowed.

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