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US plans wide seismic testing of Atlantic seabed

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer.

The U.S. Geological Survey plans this summer and next to map the outer limits of the continental shelf, and also study underwater landslides that would help predict where and when tsunamis might occur.

But environmentalists say it could cause the same type of damage to marine life they fought unsuccessfully to prevent this month off the coast of New Jersey.

Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action says the new plan would blast the ocean at floor 236 to 265 decibels every 20 to 24 seconds for 17 days.

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