One of the hottest topics in the news, at the Georgia capitol, and throughout the East Coast is offshore drilling.
A proposal out of The White House, referred to as the Draft Proposed Program for the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing plan, would open up the Atlantic coastline, including Georgia, for oil and natural gas exploration and drilling. This plan will expose birds, other wildlife, and coastal communities to unacceptable risk.
In 2017, the Georgia Barrier Islands were designated as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Landscape site. The Network makes these designations based on sound scientific data to protect key habitats throughout the Americas in order to sustain healthy populations of shorebirds. Opening offshore drilling exploration would put these important bird areas at unnecessary risk.
What has been done so far?
Atlanta Audubon Society has joined National Audubon Society, 100 Miles Georgia, Sierra Club, Georgia Conservancy, Environment Georgia, Center for a Sustainable Coast and 141 cities and counties, including Georgia communities, Savannah, Brunswick, Hinesville, St. Mary’s, Kingsland, Porterdale, and Tybee Island, and a long list of other conservation organizations and coastal communities in opposing this proposal.
In addition, a team of Atlanta Audubon staff, board members, and volunteers attended a public hearing on February 28 hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and submitted an official letter from Atlanta Audubon Society expressing our strong opposition to this proposal.
Thanks to the leadership of our coastal legislators, the Georgia General Assembly is now considering resolutions (HR1041 and SR706) that support our coastal fisheries and tourism and oppose drilling off our coast. With all that we stand to lose, our elected officials need to hear from us!
How Can I Help?
We need YOU to add your voice to the chorus of conservationists opposing this issue. Here are a few easy steps you can take:
1. Submit a Comment online or in writing by March 9, 2018. The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) is currently accepting public comments on their dangerous leasing program. This 60-day comment period is an opportunity for all of us to make our coastal voices and values clear. Click here for instructions on how to submit a letter to the BOEM electronically. The more comments that are received, the better the chance of having Georgia removed from the list. You can download a sample letter here.
2. 100 Miles Georgia is circulating a petition to encourage Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to join us and his fellow East Coast Governors in opposing lease sales in the Atlantic. Click here to read and sign this petition.