Companies looking for oil in the Pacific Ocean’s Santa Barbara Channel are set to use the fracking method to release it, according to the Associated Press. Fracking in coastal waters is rare, but it has taken place 12 times since the late 1990s.
Fracking fluids are made up of hundreds of chemicals, some of which aren’t known and are protected trade secrets. While the effects of fracking on land are becoming better known and regulated, that of fracking’s effects on the ocean haven’t been fully vetted.
Experts say bottom-dwelling animals are most at risk from the chemical mixture, which is likely to contain chemicals toxic to them. There have been few studies into fracking’s effects on a marine environment, however, so a better-informed understanding of the effects hasn’t been developed.