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Student Interdisciplinary Seminar: Hounshell
September 21, 2015 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
Alex Hounshell will present her research on “To drill or not to drill? Potential environmental impacts of offshore drilling in North Carolina”
IMS Seminar Room / Broadcast to G201 Murray
Offshore oil and gas production has attracted a lot of media attention in recent months, from oil spills off the coast of California to proposed lease sales in the Arctic. With the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management’s (BOEM) announcement to open the Atlantic outer continental shelf to offshore oil and gas leases starting in 2021, North Carolina and other southeastern-Atlantic states have joined the headlines. The North Carolina offshore environment is characterized by a number of unique physical processes that make it important for economically important fisheries stocks and abundant hard bottom habitats, including ancient and fragile Lophelia coral banks. How these important resources would be affected by offshore exploration and drilling on the Atlantic coast is currently being explored. Several studies in the heavily drilled North Sea and Gulf of Mexico regions have examined the impacts of offshore drilling exploration and production on the marine environment. Focusing specifically on noise generated during seismic surveys and the toxicity, sedimentation, and anoxic zones associated with drilling waste discharges, I will assess how the North Carolina offshore ecosystems may be altered by proposed offshore drilling and gas exploration and production.