Every year, thousands of people gather hand-in-hand on beaches to “draw a line in the sand” to protect our coasts from the expansion of offshore drilling. The Hands Across the Sand event highlights coastal communities and their opposition to dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. While we cannot be together in-person this year because of the global pandemic, we will gather virtually and remain united in our shared vision of oil-free beaches for future generations.
Just last month, we took time to remember the tragic events of April 20, 2010 when the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster devastated the Gulf Coast economy, for example, the seafood industry lost nearly $1 billion. Oceana released a report exposing that 10 years later, no lessons have been learned from the disaster and the fact remains, drilling is still dirty and dangerous.
When we get to the other side of this health crisis, we will need clean, oil-free beaches and thriving coastal economies more than ever. Before this pandemic unfolded, fishing, tourism and recreation supported more than 2.6 million jobs and generated over $180 billion in GDP along the Atlantic, Pacific and Florida’s Gulf coasts. Offshore drilling puts this all at risk. We hope that you will do three things to show your support this year: