Surfrider Foundation leaders call for halt to new fossil fuel projects after oil spill

October 30, 2020

The leaders of the Surfrider Foundation’s Delaware Chapter have called for the rejection of any new fossil fuel projects in Delaware due to the oil spill that impacted area beaches.  

“We have been successful fighting offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic, but this recent spill is a reminder that this risk of spilling or worse comes with all fossil fuel projects,” said Kevin Chandler, chair of the Delaware Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. “As long as we have our economy based on fossil fuels, things like this are going to happen.”

An oil spill was reported in Delaware Bay near Broadkill Beach Oct. 19. DNREC crews were quick to respond and had teams cleaning up oil on bay beaches. 

“We still don’t know the size of the spill,” said Chandler. “The state response was good, but even with that we have oil being reported as far south as Ocean City.” 

The surfing community was definitely impacted since last week’s spill coincided with some of the best waves of the season generated by Hurricane Epsilon offshore. The better-than-usual surf started showing up last Thursday and remained through the weekend. Surfers in Cape Henlopen reported getting oil on their wetsuits and beachgoers in Rehoboth experienced tarballs sticking to their feet since Oct. 25.

“We just need to stop investing in fossil fuel infrastructure for reasons like this, as well as the broader climate crisis we are in,” said John Weber, regional manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “We need Governor Carney to stop the insanity of building out fossil fuel infrastructure in this day and age of oil spills, climate change and sea level rise. He should reject the project before the DRBC for the LNG plant in Gibbstown, N.J.”

A liquid natural gas export facility is being proposed for Gibbstown that is seeking permits from the Delaware River Basin Commission to build a pier for the giant tankers that would ship LNG overseas. The gas would be transported to the New Jersey facility by trains and trucks from a facility in Wyalusing, Pa., that turns fracked gas into liquid gas available for transport. 

Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. More at More on the Delaware Chapter here


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