NORFOLK (AP) -- Opponents of using seismic air guns to assess gas and oil deposits in waters off Virginia are sponsoring a public forum in Virginia Beach.

Oceana and the Sierra Club are partnering to sponsor the event Thursday at the Virginia Aquarium. Both groups say the government's own estimates show that seismic air gun activities will injure and possibly kill dolphins and whales, including the critically endangered North Atlantic rights whales.

The Obama administration has put Virginia's Atlantic waters off limits to oil and gas exploration. Some advocates of drilling have argued that new testing will reveal more oil and gas deposits than previously believed.

Current estimates are based on testing conducted decades ago.

The forum is from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Virginia Aquarium on General Booth Boulevard.

AP-WF-09-19-13 0602GMT

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