Ocean Protection, Ocean Energy
May 18 2014

Surfrider Chapters Join Hands to Say No to Offshore Drilling

by Pete Stauffer

Photo: Rachael Sadley

Photo credit: Rachael Sadley (Cocoa Beach)

Over 20 Surfrider Chapters participated in Hands Across the Sand events across the country on Saturday, May 17th, joining thousands of activists around the world in saying NO to offshore drilling and YES to clean energy!

A grassroots event founded by Surfrider member Dave Rauschkolb in Florida, Hands Across the Sand brings people together to oppose new offshore drilling and other dirty fuel proposals. Particpants form "human lines in the sand" by joining hands at their local beach or park to send a message to government leaders.

The Surfrider Foundation served as an official sponsor of the 2014 event as part of our Not the Answer campaign. Other sponsors included: Oceana, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Gulf Restoration Network, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Chart 411, Tar Sands Coalition, Urban Paradise Guild, and All things Healing

Below are some of the highlights from around the country and here are some pictures on our Facebook page.

Florida - Six Surfrider chapters participated in events to oppose offshore drilling and/ or seismic testing, including Cocoa Beach, Miami, Central Florida, Palm Beach County, Sun Coast, and Volusia Flagler. Go Florida!!

California - South Bay and West L.A. Malibu chapters rallied activists for the upcoming city vote on local drilling. The Ventura, San Luis Bay, and San Francisco chapters also organized events.

New Jersey - The Jersey Shore chapter hosted an event with the Sierra Club at Bradley Beach. 

Georgia - The Atlanta Chapter organed an event on Tybee Island, Savannah with the Center for a Sustainable Coast, and the Sierra Club.

Virginia - The Virginia Beach chapter joined hands with Sierra Club, Oceana, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

New Hampshire - The New Hampshire Chapter hosted a plastic cleanup before joining hands at their local beach. 

Washington - The Northwest Straits Chapter gathered at Locust Beach in Bellingham. After picking up garbage, chapter members joined hands to promote a clean energy future.

Hawaii - The Oahu Chapter, the Sierra Club and Livable Communities Hawaii hosted an event at Ala Moana Beach, near Magic Island.

Surfrider Hawaii also partnered with photographer Rafael Bergstrom, the new Oahu Chapter Administrator, to produce some compelling images entitled "A Tale of Two Futures". The photos feature former World Bodysurfing Champ Mark Cunningham and World Longboard Champ Kelia Moniz in symbolic images of "Dependence On Oil" and "Energy Independence," respectively.

Photo credit: Rafael Bergstrom

With congress considering a dramatic expansion of offshore drilling in U.S. waters, Hands Across the Sand participants showed President Obama, congress, and state legislatures the breadth of opposition to new drilling and support for clean energy.

To see more photos and videos from Hands Across the Sand 2013, please visit: http://www.handsacrossthesand.com/