The irony and inconsistencies with the approvals of the ocean seismic sound blast study for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant are striking.
First, the inconsistency of enforcement of California state law to protect valued marine resources and the ocean’s environment is noteworthy. There are extensive laws and regulations in California enforced by the California Department of Fish and Game protecting marine life and aquatic habitat. For example, recreational fishermen are fined more than $1,000 by Fish and Game for small violations such as fishing with two poles per person, fishing with a barbed hook for salmon or catching one fish in the Marine Protection Area near the plant.
Now, PG&E is permitted to kill massive numbers of juvenile and bait fish proximate to blasts, significantly harm adult fish and harm marine mammals’ ability to detect sound and navigate. This could potentially ruin an entire fishery from Guadalupe to Cambria.
Second, the support and advocacy for these underwater blasts from the Sierra Club is a contradiction of environmental protection principles. There are no more significant environmental resources in the county than our vast ocean resources including our fisheries, otters, porpoises and whales. To support the seismic ocean blast at the expense of significant harm to our ocean’s ecosystem is the ultimate irony for an environmental organization.
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Third, the irony hit home when reading the Aug. 21 front page article titled “Seismic study OK’d” adjacent to the picture/article with the incredible show of wildlife in Avila Beach of the birds, seals, and whales feeding the “bait ball.”
I was fortunate enough to be on the Port San Luis Pier that day and was absolutely thrilled with the awesome show of wildlife. It is sad to think that it could easily be gone for generations due to a test.
Atascadero resident Bob Lilley retired as county Agriculture Commissioner in 2010.