Ocean Protection, Ocean Energy, Water Quality, Oil Spill
March 24 2015

Protect Our Ocean & Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling on the East Coast

by Matt Gove

Protect our ocean and let your elected officials know that you don't want oil and gas drilling off your coast. It will take you 30 seconds, HERE.

Surfrider chapters and activists along the East Coast have been outstpoken in letting the federal government know that offshore oil drilling isn't welcome in their communities. Mainly spearheaded by the Outer Banks Surfrider Chapter, who created this Not The Answer NC website to answer questions about the campaign. With the tagline “Oil jobs are estimates. Our jobs are real," the website showcases a series of photos of citizens and the jobs coastal tourism supports, jobs that could be eliminated by an oil spill.

On March 16, a crowd of more than 600 residents, business owners and more massed to protest offshore oil drilling before a recent Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hearing in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Matt Pruett recaps the event in his Surfline.com article titled, "Record Attendance at OBX Boem Meeting Protesting Offshore Drilling," published on March 25, 2014. Pruett quotes Matt Walker, co-chair of the Outer Banks chapter:

“It’s a really salient issue here on the Outer Banks because every job here depends on tourism or fishing for its survival. And from a surfing perspective, in terms of being a game changer, offshore oil drilling has the ability to impact more surf spots at one time than anything the East Coast has seen since Duke paddled out at Atlantic City, or Kelly won his first World Title, or the ESA was founded, or Surfline installed surf cams… pick something.”

Chapters are following suit, reacting to a proposal by BOEM to open areas off of Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia to offshore drilling. Further north, the Ocean City chapter in MD bussed people into Annapolis for a rally before a BOEM hearing. Representatives from the South Jersey chapter went on record during a press event before a hearing in Atlantic City, Ga.

If you missed the public hearings, there are more coming up fast, scroll down to see meeting details. You also have the opportunity to submit official comments in opposition to the expansion of offshore drilling in the Mid-Atlantic to BOEM until March 30, 2015.

To provide your comments, click here.

Not only is BOEM proposing new drilling, they are also moving forward with dangerous seismic blasting to look for oil deposits. According to the government's own estimates, the proposed blasting will injure or kill tens of thousands of fish and marine mammals. It will also set the stage for future oil and gas development.

75 leading ocean scientists recently released a statement warning of the risks of such activities. Their statement concludes that, seismic blasting is likely to have “significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which only 500 remain.” See their full statement here.

PUBLIC HEARING DETAILS:

Norfolk, Virginia: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Double Tree Hotel, 1500 N. Military Highway, 23502.

Annapolis, Maryland: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Double Tree Hotel, 210 Holiday Court, 21401.

Dover, Delaware: Thursday, April 2, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Hilton Hotel, 1706 North Dupont Highway, 19901.

Wilmington, North Carolina: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Hilton Wilmington Riverside, 301 North Water Street, 28401.

Charleston, South Carolina: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM.  Embassy Suites, 5055 International Boulevard, 29418.

Savannah, Georgia: Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Hilton Garden Inn, 5711 Abercorn Street, 31405.

Jacksonville, Florida: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Embassy Suites, 9300 Baymeadows Road, 32256.

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: Monday, April 27, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30PM and 5:30 to 7:00PM. Ramaba Plaza Nags Head, 1701 S. Virginia Dare Trail, 27948.