21 Oct Yet Another SC Coastal Community Opposes Offshore Exploration and Drilling
South Carolina’s Coastal Communities Unite in Opposition to Offshore Drilling and Seismic Airgun Blasting
BRIARCLIFFE ACRES, SC – Today, Briarcliffe Acres became the latest community in South Carolina to come out against offshore drilling off the state’s coast, an area that has been closed to such activities for more than three decades. Briarcliffe Acres town council unanimously passed a resolution opposing offshore drilling and seismic blasting. In total, 23 municipalities in South Carolina have formally opposed seismic airgun blasting and/or offshore drilling, representing 100% percent of coastal cities and towns in the state.
“Governor Haley should be listening to the voices of those she was elected to serve,” said Samantha Siegel, campaign organizer at Oceana. “South Carolina’s coastal communities are united against offshore drilling. While coastal communities like Briarcliffe Acres have the most to lose, their voices are going unheard in Columbia and Washington. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that would threaten 79,000 jobs and $4.4 billion that is provided to the state each year through fishing, tourism and recreation. Governor Haley shouldn’t be risking the way of life of her coastal communities on false promises from Big Oil.”
While the Obama administration considers opening a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean, from Virginia to Georgia, to offshore drilling, opposition continues to mount. As of today, 85 East Coast municipalities<http://usa.oceana.org/seismic-airgun-testing/grassroots-opposition-atlantic-drilling>, roughly 600 local, state and federal officials from both sides of the aisle, such as Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and James Clyburn (D-SC), more than 300 coastal businesses<http://environmentamerica.org/sites/environment/files/resources/Small%20businesses%20against%20offshore%20drilling_0.pdf>, over 160 conservation and animal welfare organizations<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/oceana-led_coalition_letter_opposing_seismic_testing-_163.pdf>, as well as the Billfish Foundation<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/billfish_foundation.pdf>, the International Game Fish Association<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/international_game_fish_association.pdf>, the Southeastern Fisheries Association<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/southeastern_fishery_association.pdf>, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/south_atlantic_fishery_management_council_seismic_opposition_4_15.pdf>, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/mid_atlantic_fishery_management_council.pdf> and the Fisheries Survival Fund<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/662/fsf_to_mafmc_planning_cte.pdf>, have all publicly opposed offshore oil exploration or development. This month, the Gullah/Geechee nation<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/662/gullah-geechee_nation.pdf> passed a resolution opposing these activities. The state capitals of Columbia, and the major ports of Charleston and Georgetown, have also passed resolutions.
Meanwhile, seismic airgun blasting<http://www.oceana.org/Seismic>, a process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor, continues to move forward in an area twice the size of California, stretching all the way from Delaware to Florida. In March, 75 leading marine scientists sent a letter<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/statement_atlantic_seismic_5mar15_2.pdf> to President Obama on the impacts of seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, stating that “the magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which approximately only 500 remain.”