Join hands for our ocean

Samantha Caravello

Hands Across the Sands 2010, Salisbury Beach, MA. (Photo credit: William Scofield)

With the arrival of summer, many New Englanders’ thoughts turn to the ocean. Whether you enjoy surfing the waves at Hampton beach, sailing the Narragansett Bay, camping on Cape Cod’s National Seashore, picnicking with your family at Revere Beach or simply enjoying the ocean’s bounty in the form of a Maine lobster roll, our ocean gives us so much to be thankful for.

But the ocean means so much more to New Englanders then a day at the beach, it plays a critical role in growing our economy and supporting jobs and businesses.  In fact, healthy oceans bring tens of billions of dollars to our economy every year and support thousands of jobs and businesses in our region—fishermen, surf-shop owners, shipping companies and dock workers, bed and breakfast owners, restaurants and ice-cream shacks all depend on a healthy ocean.

Yet while we enjoy some sun at the beach after a long winter, New England’s ocean is at risk.

34 years ago oil companies drilled several test wells off New England’s coast and were preparing to launch full scale drilling operations when CLF, along with our allies in the fishing and tourism industry, stepped in to protect our coast. Despite the small amount of oil estimated to lie beneath our waters, the oil companies haven’t forgotten about that day, and now they, and their allies in Congress, are making a big push to re-open our coast to new drilling—and they’re closer than ever before.

Last month, less than a year after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster unleashed our nation’s worst environmental disaster, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that would expand drilling in New England and across the country. Thankfully that legislation was defeated in the Senate, but we know the oil companies and their allies will be back.

While most of New England’s congressional delegation—Republicans and Democrats alike—joined together to protect our coast, a few sided with the oil industry.  Congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Senators Brown of Massachusetts and Ayotte of New Hampshire all voted with big oil to expand drilling off our coast, while limiting environmental review.

New England’s ocean is far too valuable to drill, and it is important that all of us from local business owners, to fishermen, to the casual beachgoer, send that message to our representatives in Congress.

That is why I hope you can join CLF and our allies in supporting a wonderful event called Hands Across the Sands.  On Saturday, June 25th people from around the world will meet at their local beach to join hands and issue a simple call to governments around the world—Stop offshore drilling and promote the development of clean renewable energy.

So join us (and bring your kids, friends, neighbors, and anyone else you can think of ) at a Hands Across the Sands event near you. Then stick around afterwards and enjoy a day at the beach with the people you love. Click here to find an event near you.

There will be hundreds of events around the world, but if there is no event scheduled near you, it is very easy to organize your own event (and a great way to meet new people who share your love of the ocean). Click here to learn how, or call Winston Vaughan at (617) 850-1750 and he’ll walk you through it.

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