A coalition of faith and environmental groups will host a Hands Across the Sand event at noon, Saturday, May 19, in Rehoboth Beach. Participants will gather on the beach in front of Wilmington Avenue at 11:30 a.m. and then move to the shoreline to join hands at noon.The event is part of a worldwide movement that started in the wake of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Citizens around the globe will come together to join hands in defense of the world's oceans and to show solidarity for a clean energy future. The gathering in Rehoboth Beach will aim to show unified opposition to the Trump administration's recent proposal to allow oil and gas exploration and development in the Atlantic, including areas off Delaware's coast.
In January, the Trump administration unveiled its first draft of a new Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program that proposed opening over 90 percent of the United States offshore regions to oil and gas development. The draft plan ignored overwhelming coastal opposition, and a grassroots movement that compelled the previous administration to abandon plans to pursue offshore drilling and exploration along the Atlantic coast.
Eight years after offshore drilling caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, citizens will join Epworth United Methodist Church, Surfrider Foundation Delaware Chapter, Oceana, MERR Institute, Delaware Interfaith Power and Light, Delaware Sierra Club, Progressive Democrats of Sussex County and others to once again "draw a line in the sand" and oppose the industrialization of coastal communities and the risk of another BP Deepwater Horizon-like disaster.
As of today, more than 200 East Coast municipalities, over 1,700 elected officials, and an alliance representing over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling activities. For a complete list of opposition, go to www.StopTheDrill.org.
Hands Across the Sand is an international day of action on which activists and beachgoers alike send a message to the world that dirty offshore drilling be replaced with clean, renewable energy sources like offshore wind. To learn more, go to www.handsacrossthesand.org.