Could Drilling in the Atlantic Harm Fish, Whales, Turtles?
A proposal from President Barack Obama could open parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast to drilling.
The swath of Atlantic Ocean the Obama administration may open to oil and gas exploration is an ecologically diverse network of soft-bottom shelves and rocky canyons that includes some of most dynamic and mysterious marine systems on Earth.
The 500-mile-long (805-kilometer) region stretching from Virginia to Georgia hosts 700 fish species, five types of sea turtles, migrating humpbacks, and endangered fin whales and right whales with sensitive acoustic systems. Seabirds by the millions float along the Gulf Stream as it carries warm water and nutrients north.
Beyond the continental shelf, where the seafloor slopes down into the abyss, the bottom of the ocean is cut by canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon that are visited by tilefish and