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February 27, 2018

Washington Coast United Against Offshore Oil Drilling

We live in a time that is highly divisive and with few issues that draw support across the political spectrum. But on the Washington coast there is unity as numerous elected officials, city councils, and advisory bodies have officially voiced their opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil and gas exploration that include Washington waters.

The first to take action was the Ocean Shore’s city council, who passed a resolution on January 22nd that stated “The City of Ocean Shores finds that offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration unnecessarily risks our economic and ecological health and therefore opposes any plan or legislation which encourages oil and gas development and exploration offshore that would impact the citizens of Washington State.” Westport quickly followed suit on January 29th and then the dominos began to fall quickly. As of right now, city councils in Ilwaco, Long Beach, Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Montesano have passed similar resolutions. So has the Port of Ilwaco. Additionally, the Board of County Commissioners in Pacific and Clallam counties have approved their own letters and the commissioners in Grays Harbor are expected to consider doing so at a later date. We of course hope that they take a cue from their coastal counterparts and the leadership from cities in their own county.

Razor clam digging is one of the popular recreational activities on the coast that would be threatened by an oil spill off the Washington coast.

Other organizations have written letters or passed resolutions of their own, including the Grays Harbor County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), the Pacific County MRC, and the North Coast MRC. The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council also sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expressing concerns that the proposed activities are not compatible with the mission of the National Marine Sanctuary program.

These positions that span the entire coast have all occurred within a month, which is a truly amazing pace and demonstrates the profound concern of coastal citizens. They clearly state that we do not want offshore oil and gas exploration off the Washington coast. There is too much to lose with little reward.

There are plenty of ways to take action on your own too:

  1. Contact Your Federal Representative & Senators via our Action Alert
  2. Attend the People’s Hearing and BOEM open house on March 5th in Olympia
  3. Submit Public Comments on the Plan via BOEM Public Comment by March 9th (See Fact sheet and sample letter)
  4. Spread the word and get active with your local Surfrider Chapter
  5. Download the Oil Rig picture below and share via social media

3/2/2018: This post was updated to include recent resolutions and letters from Aberdeen and the Clallam County Commissioners.

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