Guest post by Pete Stauffer, Environmental Director at Surfrider Foundation
Businesses along the eastern seaboard are speaking out against proposed offshore drilling in the Atlantic by signing a surfboard that is making its way from Miami, Florida to Washington D.C. A project of the Surfrider Foundation, the ‘Sign the Surfboard’ campaign launched August, with the board scheduled to make stops in Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, and Delaware.
After collecting signatures from hundreds of recreation and tourism businesses, the board will be presented to White House officials in February of 2016 as a symbol of the industry’s opposition to the federal government’s plans to include the Atlantic in the 2017 – 2022 Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program.
Surf World Surf Shop of Pompano Beach, FL was one of the first businesses to sign the board. “We know the importance of our opposition toward offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Gulf of Mexico”, said Surf World Surf Shop Manager and Surfrider Broward Chapter Chair, Craig Tolz. “All of our products at Surf World embrace the surfing and paddle boarding lifestyle, and this lifestyle has spawned a billion dollar surfing industry that supports the livelihoods of myself, my family, and thousands of other citizens living along the coastlines”
Coastal recreation and tourism generates enormous socioeconomic benefits for Atlantic coastal communities, which would be put at risk by the Obama Administration’s plans to allow new offshore drilling. Businesses along the Atlantic coast understand that an oil spill would be more than disruptive; it could devastate both the marine environment and local economies, not to mention the quality of life of people living in those communities.
If you are a coastal business in the South Atlantic or Mid-Atlantic (Florida through Delaware), please contact us to arrange to sign the surfboard! You may also sign the surfboard remotely by completing this online form. Follow the board on social media by using the hashtags #NotTheAnswer and #StopTheDrill.
Special thanks to our friends at Oceana for supporting the effort!
Thanks also to Firewire Surfboards for donating a beautiful board!