New oil exploration projects, or seismic surveys, are proposed to occur over thousands of acres of land in Southwest Florida. These projects may result in adverse hydrologic impacts, disturb wildlife, impact soils and vegetation, and may eventually lead to an expansion of oil drilling in the area. These surveys involve the use of large trucks or explosives to send vibrations deep underground. These vibrations are used to generate data intended to locate geological formations that are likely to contain oil or gas.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is actively involved in monitoring these projects and working to avoid impacts to our water, wildlife, and sensitive lands. 

The proposed Tocala LLC seismic survey would cover 103,000 acres of land north of Big Cypress National Preserve. This project involves putting explosives into thousands of boreholes underground in order to generate the vibrations.

Another seismic survey project that is currently underway is by the Burnett Oil Company to occur within the Big Cypress National Preserve itself. This project would cover 70,540 acres and would use large trucks weighing over 30-tons -referred to as vibroseis buggies- to generate the vibrations. The Conservancy joined national and regional partners to legally challenge the National Park Service’s approval of this survey. Although we are disappointed that we did not prevail in the courts and were not able to stop the current Burnett seismic survey, we will continue to monitor this project’s impacts, as well as potential future activities.

Read more about the Burnett Seismic Survey here and here

Read our report that we provided to the state and federal agencies to demand restoration of the damage from Burnett Oil’s survey.


Click the video below to see the vibroseis buggies in action.

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