The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will host an open house in Delaware on Thursday, April 2 to “sound" out public opinions on seismic permitting in the Atlantic Ocean. Two sessions will be held, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with BOEM expected to share information on the geological and geophysical (G&G) permitting process on the Atlantic Coast.

The meetings will feature information stations with BOEM experts on hand to discuss G&G issues. Attendees are encouraged to provide handwritten or electronic comments at the open house. All G&G applications for Atlantic permitting will be available for public review and comment on the website beginning March 30. All deep penetration seismic applications will be open for a period of 30 calendar days and all others will be open for 10 days.

Representatives from DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs also will be at the open house sessions to provide information on the state’s role in the permitting process. To learn more about the Atlantic G&G process, visit

Meetings scheduled throughout the Atlantic states will provide an overview of the G&G process and allow the public an opportunity to ask questions and comment.

In New Jersey, the government’s seismic testing plan has been widely opposed by members of both the fishing and environmental community as potentially disruptive to local fishing activities. In 2014, groups like the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), Clean Ocean Action, United Boatmen, Marine Trades Association, New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, Jersey Coast Anglers Association organized statewide protests against the plan.

The ocean testing plan incorporates high-energy, seismic blasting by way of four- and eight-airgun arrays mounted on a large research vessel that produces sound levels of up to 253 decibels fired in an alternating sequence every 5 seconds, 24 hours a day. Approved by the Obama administration as a climate change study designed to access deep sea sediments, the seismic blasting study has been blasted by coastal groups as a thinly veiled attempt to find coastal energy deposits for future drilling purposes.

Last summer, the state of New Jersey took legal action in an effort to halt the federally approved seismic ocean survey that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) said could adversely impact the state’s vital tourism and fishing industries, and marine life.

Delaware anglers and ocean advocates interested in learning more about the seismic testing plan are encouraged to attend one of the April 2 sessions to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1706 North DuPont Highway in Dover, DE. For additional information, contact Michael Globetti at DNREC Public Affairs (302-739-9902), or Tricia Arndt at Delaware Coastal Programs (302-739-9283.)