DOVER, Del. — Delaware’s U.S. senators are asking the Trump administration to reject applications from companies seeking to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, a first step toward offshore drilling.

Democratic Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons said in a joint statement Tuesday that they and leaders in Delaware coastal communities oppose the surveys, which help map potential drilling sites for oil and natural gas.

Many other East Coast lawmakers and environmental groups also oppose such surveying, saying loud sounds from seismic air guns could hurt marine life.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this year aimed at expanding drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The order reversed an action by President Barack Obama.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now considering whether to issue five permits for seismic surveying.