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Oceana applauds opposition to offshore drilling

Last week Riceboro became the latest city in Georgia to unanimously pass a resolution against offshore drilling. In total, 12 municipalities in Georgia have formally opposed offshore drilling activities off their shores.  Riceboro adds the coastal opposition which includes another unanimous resolution passed by Midway. These cities add to the growing national opposition, with over 340 municipalities on both the East and West Coasts opposed to the expansion of oil and gas activities off their shores. 

“Georgia residents have so much to lose if offshore drilling, or offshore oil exploration moves forward, yet their voices are going unheard in Washington,” said Paulita Bennett-Martin, campaign organizer at Oceana. “Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that would threaten our state’s ocean-dependent tourism, recreation and fishing industries, and our coastal Georgia way of life. Communities are calling on their elected officials to support local interests instead of risking their livelihoods for the benefit of the oil industry.  Governor Kemp has stated his opposition to offshore drilling off Georgia’s coast, saying he will fight to defend his position and protect our coast.” 

In January 2018, the Trump administration announced its plans to open nearly all U.S. waters, including Georgia’s coast, to offshore drilling activities.

“In Georgia alone, healthy oceans provide over 23,000 jobs and over $1.3 billion in annual GDP, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation,” added Bennett-Martin. “Oil spills do not respect state boundaries and Georgians will continue to stand up against expanded offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting until our leaders in Washington stand with us.”

The Trump administration’s plan for expanding offshore drilling ignores the groundswell of opposition that only continues to mount. 

“We need President Trump to stand with Georgia’s coastal communities by taking our treasured coast off the table for dangerous offshore oil drilling,” said Bennett-Martin. “President Trump can prevent oil spills from reaching our beaches by withdrawing his proposed offshore drilling plan. His administration can ensure fishing and coastal recreation have a place in Georgia for our children and grandchildren. Offshore drilling is a forever decision and it’s not too late to protect our coast.”

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities nationwide includes:

• Governors from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon and Washington

• More than 340 local municipalities

• Over 2,100 local, state and federal bipartisan officials

• Alliances representing over 46,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families

• Pacific, New England, South Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils

• Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Southern Shrimp Alliance, North Atlantic Marine Alliance, Billfish Foundation and International Game Fish Association

• California Fish and Game Commission, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, California Ocean Protection Council and California Senate and Assembly

• U.S. Department of Defense and the Florida Defense Support Task Force

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