10 • 12 • 2020

Oil Drilling in the Bahamas is a Threat to Florida’s Sensitive Ecosystem

By Marilu Flores

Located just 150 miles from Florida’s coastline, and only 57 miles at its closest point between Miami and Bimini, the island nation of the Bahamas is planning to move forward with an offshore exploratory well as early as December 2020. This idea has sent Florida Surfrider members and activists into action mode, raising public awareness of the proposal and writing to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to request that the U.S. government oppose the plan. Recently, sixteen Members of Congress expressed dismay at the proposal and wrote Secretary Pompeo to request action. Click here to read their letter

Catastrophic spills, like the Deepwater Horizon disaster, as well as smaller, routine spills and leaks, are an inevitable risk of offshore oil drilling. A recent study showed that after a spill, oil lingers on the ocean floor and can return to the water column, impacting wildlife, food supplies and tourism. Deepwater Horizon also reminded Floridians that oil spills don’t respect state lines, or national boundaries for that matter. 

Florida’s economy and quality of life is uniquely tied to clean, healthy beaches. That’s why our members are determined to stop any new offshore drilling that threatens these coastal resources. Surfrider is engaging with local coalitions in the Bahamas Our Islands, Our Future, by reaching out to the U.S. State Department, and educating the public on the many ecological and economic risks associated with the threat of drilling adjacent to Florida’s coast.