Our barrier islands, under siege

From the Outer Banks to Sunset Beach, North Carolina has some of the country’s nation’s most famous beaches. 

Drawing more than 11 million visitors every year, North Carolina’s coastal communities give us a chance to swim, fish, surf, or catch a glimpse of hatching sea turtles. They also support a thriving fishing and tourist economy. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce coastal visitors spent roughly $4 billion in 2013 alone.

A renewed push to drill off the coast

In January, the Obama administration announced plans to open up the Atlantic coast, from Virginia through Georgia to offshore oil drilling. The oil and gas industry, along with Gov. Pat McCrory applauded the decision. Some of our state leaders, including Sen. Thom Tillis criticized the announcement as not going far enough, and have asked to move the current 50-mile limit even closer to shore.

Drilling has been banned on the Atlantic coast for 30 years—and for good reason. Gulf communities are still reeling from the impacts of the BP oil spill that happened in 2010. Now oil and gas interests have their sights set off the coast of Cape Hatteras, home to more marine life — including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales — than most places in the world. Ancient deep-water coral reefs off of Wrightsville Beach are also at risk.

How we can protect our coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is in the process of determining the next five-year plan for oil and gas leasing. That plan runs from 2017-2022, and could be finalized as soon as next summer.

We’re demanding that the Obama administration remove North Carolina from the plan. To make that happen, North Carolinians need to come together and voice their opposition to drilling.

The bill, introduced on the one-year anniversary of the Gulf spill by Sen. Bob Rucho, promoted opening North Carolina's Outer Banks and the rest of our fragile coastal areas to oil and gas drilling.  

After repeatedly failing to garner enough votes to override the veto, legislative leaders finally let their drill, baby, drill bill languish—for now. 

We at Environment North Carolina will continue to stand up for our beaches, and press for permanent protections for our coast.

 


 

Oceans updates

Headline

Drilling Opponents Look West For Support

Since the spring of 2017 when a shift in policy by the Trump administration caused the prospect of offshore oil and gas exploration off the North Carolina coast to reemerge as real possibility, local governments from Currituck to Calabash have steadily weighed in, passing resolutions in opposition and in some cases multiple times. About 40 of the coastal region’s municipalities and all but two coastal county boards — Carteret and Brunswick — have put their opposition to paper. One of the latest additions to that list, however, could be a sign that other parts of the state are lining up against new leases as well. In late April, the Asheville City Council unanimously passed a resolution against both offshore drilling and seismic testing.

> Keep Reading
Headline

Don’t let drilling put the NC coast at risk

When The News & Observer hosted last month’s Community Voices forum, the big question on everyone’s mind was how will the new composition of the North Carolina General Assembly affect this year’s session? The issues facing our legislature range from gerrymandering to Medicaid expansion and teacher pay. But one issue looming on the horizon did not receive any attention: offshore drilling.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

New report: Offshore drilling could bring onshore damages to North Carolina

The Trump administration has proposed opening much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans off the U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. The onshore infrastructure that is needed to support expanded offshore drilling poses dangers to the environment, communities and public health.
Offshore drilling requires a supporting network onshore, including pipelines to deliver oil and gas to refineries or distribution networks; refineries to produce gasoline and other petroleum products; ports for sending equipment and maintenance boats to offshore rigs; and waste disposal facilities.
 
Onshore infrastructure and activities that support offshore drilling create multiple risks to public health and the environment, including air pollution, groundwater contamination and oil spills.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Offshore Drilling, Onshore Damage

The Trump administration has proposed opening much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans off the U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. The onshore infrastructure that is needed to support expanded offshore drilling poses dangers to the environment, communities and public health.
 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

A straw and a sea turtle: Why we should stop using single-use plastic | Michaela Morris

The video provides visceral imagery of the suffering caused by single-use plastic. Marine animals, like this turtle, ...do not deserve to suffer extraordinary pain because of the vast quantities of disposable plastic products that end up in the sea. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed