03 • 15 • 2016

Atlantic Coast Protected from Offshore Drilling

On March 15th, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it was canceling plans for new offshore oil drilling off the Atlantic Coast. The decision came as part of the agency’s release of its proposed five-year offshore drilling plan for 2017-2022. The previous draft of the plan included new oil drilling off the Mid- and South Atlantic Coast. In response to the news, the Surfrider Foundation released the following statement:

“The Surfrider Foundation applauds the federal government’s leadership on this issue. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous practice that threatens the health of our oceans and coastal communities. It requires seismic surveys, drilling operations, oil transport by tankers, and the installation of platforms, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Collectively these activities significantly damage both the environment and related economies, while exposing our coastlines to the risk of catastrophic oil spills. Our federal government has heard the voices of countless stakeholders who are strongly opposed to the expansion of offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast.”

The successful campaign to protect the Atlantic from oil drilling was truly a grassroots effort. Surfrider and its 34 East Coast chapters worked tirelessly with coastal communities, local businesses, and other environmental groups over the past year. We organized rallies and outreach events, passed city council resolutions, and mobilized thousands of supporters to submit comments. In February, 2016, Surfrider and recreation industry leaders visited the White House and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to hand-deliver a surfboard and letters signed by over a thousand coastal businesses.

We are thrilled that the Obama Administration listened to many communities, businesses, and citizens that spoke out on this issue. Through this decision, the Obama Administration helps protect the marine environment, along with the millions of people that depend upon it. Thank you to everyone that helped protect the Atlantic Coast from new offshore drilling!

Ocean Protection