Surfrider Applauds Move to Ban Offshore Drilling in Parts of the Atlantic and Arctic

December 16 2016

Today, President Obama exercised his executive authority to ‘withdraw’ parts of the Atlantic and Arctic outer continental shelf from future oil or gas leasing, creating a ban on future offshore drilling. In response, the Surfrider Foundation released the following statement from CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen:

“The Surfrider Foundation applauds President Obama’s decision to protect parts of the Atlantic and Arctic from future oil and gas development. Offshore drilling is a dangerous and polluting activity that puts our coastal economies and natural resources at risk. Today’s announcement is a testament to the hundreds of communities, thousands of businesses, and millions of citizens who spoke out against oil drilling off our coastlines.”

Over the past two years, the Surfrider Foundation’s chapter network worked with partners to help pass over 120 local government resolutions against offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic. In February, the Surfrider Foundation and a delegation of coastal recreation industry leaders met with White House staff and Abigail Hopper, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), to deliver over 1000 signatures from coastal businesses in opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic.

This grassroots opposition helped compel the Obama Administration to cancel plans to allow oil drilling off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast. The decision became official in early December when the Administration released its final 5 Year Offshore Drilling Plan, which protects not only the Atlantic, but also the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, West Coast and Arctic Ocean from oil and gas leasing for 2017-2022. Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration will make it even more difficult for future administrations to allow oil drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic.

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 500,000 supporters, activists and members, with more than 80 volunteer-led chapters and 60 clubs in the U.S., and more than 350 victories protecting our coasts. Learn more at