When not harvesting salt, we are often enjoying the ocean and beach that we are lucky enough to call our front yard. A fact you may not know is that both Dave and I are both active Surfrider Foundation members and serve on our local board.
Tomorrow, Dave and I, along with fellow board member, Kevin Piacenza and The Blockade Runner Resort owner, Mary Baggett, are traveling to the Nation’s Capital this week to express Cape Fear recreational industries’ opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing. As part of Coastal Recreation Lobby Day, we have meetings scheduled with North Carolina Senators Richard Burr, Thom Tillis as well as, Congressman, David Rouzer.
Throughout the summer, fall and winter, a donated Firewire surfboard journeyed through seven states and visited countless communities on its way to Washington D.C. During the board’s two days in the Cape Fear region more than two dozen businesses from Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, and Surf City signed the board. The surfboard’s mission: to demonstrate the recreation industry’s opposition to oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
Paul Naude, Vissla CEO and board member of the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association, was one of hundreds of industry leaders to lend his support to the campaign. “Our ocean powers a multi-billion dollar industry that is second to none,” said Naude. “We need to advocate for local businesses and the natural resources they depend upon.”
In the trusted care of Surfrider’s D.C. Chapter, the surfboard now sports signatures from restaurants, surf shops, art galleries, hotels, and other coastal businesses opposed to offshore drilling in the Atlantic. From Miami Beach to the Cape Fear, to the Outer Banks and up the Eastern Seaboard, coastal businesses are fighting to protect the largest and most sustainable industry on the Atlantic coast (recreation and tourism) and a way a life enjoyed by millions of people.
Members of Congress are also lining up to sign the surfboard. On February 11-12th, the surfboard will visit Capital Hill as part of Coastal Recreation Lobby Day. Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Representative Mark Sanford (SC) have already pledged to add their signatures before it goes to President Obama. In total, lobby day volunteers will meet with nearly 50 legislative offices to ask our federal leaders to protect the Atlantic coast.
On February 16th, the surfboard will be presented to White House officials along with letters signed by over a thousand businesses asking our nation’s leaders to cancel plans for oil drilling in the Atlantic.
The meetings with our nation’s leaders are timely, as the federal government will release its Proposed 5 Five Year Offshore Drilling Plan in the coming weeks. Last year, the administration announced its plans to open up the Mid-and South Atlantic to oil drilling, spurring a grassroots movement of opposition. This spring, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will open a 90-day comment for public input with a final decision scheduled to be made in the fall. Your voice will be vital during this 90-day period. Things you can personally do:
- Sign-up for the Surfrider Cape Fear Chapter newsletter to be up to date on the comment period and meetings.
- Like our Facebook page to be included in the convo.
- Attend our local Surfrider meetings. These take place every other Wednesday, 6pm at Blue Surf Cafe. There is a meeting tonight and we always post reminders on Facebook.
Let's protect what we love.