Ocean Protection
July 01 2011

Surfrider Joins Global Protest Against Offshore Drilling

by Pete Stauffer


On June 25, Surfrider Foundation activists joined tens of thousands of people around the world in participating in Hands Across the Sand, a grassroots event in support of protecting our coasts from offshore drilling. At hundreds of local events held at beaches and parks across the globe, participants joined hands to urge their elected leaders to say NO to offshore drilling and YES to clean energy. Founded in 2009 by Florida surfer and restaurant owner Dave Rauschkolb, Hands Across the Sand is now a global movement that has taken place in 40 countries.

This year, the Surfrider Foundation again served as an official sponsor of Hands Across the Sand. Nearly 30 Surfrider chapters organized or participated in local events held in Florida, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Hawaii and other states. In many cases, events featured guest speakers, partnering organizations, and a beach cleanup. ”We don’t want to see spills like what we saw in the gulf”, said Haley Haggerstone of Surfrider’s San Diego Chapter. ‘We want to see our leaders investing in newer sustainable energy,”

The Hands Across the Sand event is part of Surfrider Foundation’s Not the Answer campaign to support reinstatement of the Federal Moratorium on new offshore drilling. Instead of advocating for transient and environmentally harmful ways to meet America’s oil needs, the Surfrider Foundation believes we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable energy plan that includes energy conservation.

“Our elected leaders need to understand that new offshore drilling is not the answer to our energy needs,” said Pete Stauffer, Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Ecosystem Manager.  “The massive turnout for Hands Across the Sands shows that people oppose the risky practice of offshore drilling and understand that we need to seek real solutions to our energy crisis including increased efficiency, conservation and renewable alternatives.”

(Photos: Francyne Kunkel, Sonoma, CA event)