Seismic Tests for Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Draw Surfrider and Fishermen Opposition

Categories: Environment
Lil' help!
The San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation came out strongly against underwater seismic testing off the Central California coast, an industry reaction to Japan's nuclear nightmare after a destructive earthquake.

But in a case of groups at times strongly at odds finding common ground (or water, actually), sportfishermen also oppose the tests to assess the susceptibility of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Facility to seismic activity.

See also:

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Marine Land

Surfrider, which was founded by surfers who grew tired of getting sick after riding polluted waves, and various lobbying groups for sportfishers have been strongly at odds over the California Fish & Game Commission's network of 36 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Southern California. Surrider loves 'em, fishermen not so much.

Photo by Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Paging surfers and fishers.
But, to hear Surfrider spokesman Matt McClain tell it, his nonprofit environmental group has been on the same page as fishermen on a water or ocean-life issue more often than casual observers might realize.

"Over the years, we've been on the same side of the fence on a lot of things and worked together on some," said McClain, Surfrider's marketing and communications director.

The two sides came together, he noted, to promote the recent of removal of Elwha Dam in Washington state, restoring the salmon run there, and to oppose plans for a wave-energy project elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, over fears ocean intake will lead to massive fish kills.

The same fears prompted Surfrider and fishermen to oppose desalination projects along the California coast, according to McClain. They also joined together to fight restoration of Matilija Dam in Ventura, where a steelhead trout run is threatened by sediment.

Both now oppose Pacific Gas & Electric's seismic tests, which blast loud noise into the ocean from Cambria to the Santa Maria River so sound waves that penetrate several miles into the Earth's crust and reverberate back to the surface can be researched. The problem, as Surfrider and the fishers know, is such tests kill marine life, from whales to porpoises to sea turtles.

Currently, a California Coastal Commission hearing on the tests has been postponed, at PG&E's request, to the regular November meeting in Santa Monica. Perhaps fishermen and Surfrider members will save seats for one another in the hearing room. After all, both opposed the extension of a private tollway into South Orange County and perceived threats to pristine Trestles beach and temporal San Mateo Creek, where steelhead have been spotted.

It may even be the same seat because, as McClain is quick to point out, "Some Surfrider members fish."

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Common sense tells us this kind of testing can cause more fracturing.  How ironic it comes down on the side of being harmful to the living ecology of the coast, and in the name of making a fundamentally unsafe process allowable.  There is no way these tests are needed, except to prove what we already know, that Diablo Canyon and San Onofre need to be decommissioned quickly before there is a major incident.  Radioactive releases affect the entire Pacific and the world, not just the people of California.  This is an old design sited at a time when these risks were not well understood.  Now we know better, and have to organize to close them.


Hi,Seismic testing using 260db air canons is more powerful and deadly than anything ever allowed in our precious California waters. Louder than an atomic bomb blast EVERY THIRTEEN SECONDS, this type of testing is proposed for both Diablo Canyon and San Onofre Nuclear Waste Plants. The cumulative impacts read like a dinosaur-killing asteroid.

It must be stopped because it is ineffective and completely unnecessary. Please join us on Facebook at: Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic TestingJoey Racano, DirectorOrange County Ocean Outfall GroupPS- congratulations Orange County Sanitation District on finally reaching FULL SECONDARY TREATMENT, Oct 18th, 2012 after giving up the 301h waiver ten years ago!


 @mcoker Hi Matt! I bought a house in Los Osos, 6 miles from Diablo Canyon! I'm leading the charge against seismic testing, and running the FB page- got a recording studio out back, a great gal, it's a beautiful area too- come up for a visit! Are you guys gonna do a 10 yr waiver celebration? You should! You gotta come up for a weekend, I'll make pasta!  talkaboutthebay@yahoo.comon facebook: Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing

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