Protecting Ocean Ecosystems
Stand Up Against Offshore Oil and Gas
At the beginning of the year, the Trump Administration released its draft five-year program for offshore oil and gas development. It’s hard to overstate how disastrous it would be for New England’s ocean, marine wildlife, and coastal communities if the Trump Administration moves forward with its program. In its current form, the draft program proposes to open nearly 90 percent of U.S. continental shelf waters to oil and gas drilling.
As a region that relies greatly on a healthy ocean, we cannot afford the risks that offshore oil and gas present – they are simply too great. An oil spill could devastate our fisheries and coastal communities, and even the preliminary seismic testing is known to harm marine mammals. As a result of excessive greenhouse gas emissions, New England’s ocean is already warming faster than almost any other ocean area in the world. The last thing we need is another man-made threat.
At its most recent meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council expressed its concerns about the proposed program and will be sending a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recommending that the program exclude the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. However, this is not enough. BOEM and the Trump Administration need to hear from stakeholders around the region – including the fishing industry – that the draft program is harmful and unnecessary.
Starting next week, BOEM is hosting public meetings around New England where stakeholders can learn more about the draft program (the Connecticut public meeting already occurred on February 13th). A comment period is also open until March 9, 2018; comments can be submitted online or mailed in. Speak up today – our ocean future depends on it!
Public meeting schedule:
February 27: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199
February 28: Marriott Providence Downtown, 1 Orms St, Providence, RI 02904
March 5: Holiday Inn Concord Downtown, 172 North Main St, Concord, NH 03301
March 7: Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330