On February 11-12, 2016, Surfrider members, coastal recreation businesses, and our partners will convene in Washington D.C. to ask our nation’s leaders to protect the Atlantic coast from offshore oil and gas development. We'll also advocate for other Surfrider federal priorities such as the BEACH Act to support beach water testing programs. The event will be timely, as our federal government is planning to open up the Atlantic to new oil drilling in its next five-year drilling plan. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is working on an environmental impact statement for offshore drilling, which is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2016.
Surfrider’s lobby event is a unique opportunity for Surfrider chapters and the coastal recreation industry to demonstrate a strong presence in Washington D.C. in support of protecting our ocean, waves, and beaches. Offshore drilling poses a serious threat to the Atlantic coast by undermining our natural resources, local economies, and way of life. By making our voices heard in Washington D.C., we will drive our message home at a time when critical decisions are being made. We'll also get to showcase our Firewire surfboard that's been signed by hundreds of Atlantic coast businesses that are opposed to offshore drilling.
Here's what we have lined up for the event:
- Meetings with congressional offices on Capitol Hill
- An evening celebration hosted by Surfrider’s DC Chapter for members and supporters
- A rally near the Capitol with Surfrider chapter leaders, industry reps, and coalition partners
- Presentation of our signed surfboard to White House officials.
In addition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic, the event is an opportunity to advocate for other federal priorities to protect our oceans and coasts, including continued funding of the BEACH Act to ensure water quality testing, support for the National Ocean Policy to ensure smart planning for the future of our oceans, and ways to reduce the plastic pollution that often ends up in the stomachs of marine animals.
If you are interested in attending the Washington DC event, please email our Ocean Policy Outreach Coordinator (Joanna Malaczynski, firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also stay tuned for more info on this event on surfrider.org.