Each year on World Oceans Day, people around the world celebrate the ocean and unite to protect our shared ocean treasures. This year, over 100 scientists sent a letter to President Trump and Congress, urging our leaders in Washington, D.C. to prevent the expansion of offshore drilling.
Although there is strong and growing opposition from more than 380 coastal communities, every East and West Coast governor and elected officials from both the Republican and Democratic parties, it is clear we still have a lot of work cut out for us. Why? Despite the widespread opposition, the White House recently issued a proclamation on National Ocean Month, in which the president reaffirmed support for offshore oil drilling, touting an “enormous opportunity” to expand the industry.
As a marine scientist, I am proud to fight for ocean protections and now it’s time for the president to listen and for Congress to enact protections.
Excerpt from the letter:
“As scientists, we write to you, united in our concern over the proposed expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters. Offshore drilling represents a significant threat to marine life and coastal economies that rely on a vibrant ocean. Because our health and planet depend on a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy, we should not be investing in new fossil fuel extraction. On World Oceans Day, we call on you to protect our coasts and halt these efforts to expand offshore drilling. “
The scientists highlighted many of the hazards of offshore drilling:
- Offshore drilling fuels climate change, which threatens all of our health and livelihoods.
- All coasts should be protected from another BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
- Offshore oil drilling generates chronic pollution in the ocean and on land.
Scientists who signed the letter include a former member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon, oil spill experts and marine biologists from across the country.
In 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Ten years later, reasons to oppose offshore drilling have only grown, while scientists and citizens across the U.S. call for a stop to more drilling. Despite the overwhelming opposition, President Trump’s proposal to open nearly all U.S. waters to offshore drilling remains on the table.
As scientists, we hope this plea is heard. We hope the president and Congress act to protect our coasts for generations to come.