Offshore Drilling and Exploration:

Your Voices Will Continue to Make a Difference!

Since 2015, Georgians have fought to protect our coast from the dangers of offshore energy exploration and development. Eight Georgia communities representing 265,000 citizens, 3,000 individual petition signatures, hundreds of letter writers, and many federal and state officials have strongly opposed offshore activities that threaten our quality of life, our economy and our wildlife. As a result, in March 2016, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that no drilling would occur in the Atlantic Ocean.  In January 2017, BOEM announced their decision to deny all seismic airgun testing permit applications in the Atlantic as well.

Coastal Georgians praised and celebrated this huge victory!


TODAY’S CHALLENGE

Despite the public outcry, despite the negative economic impact  and despite the wealth of scientific evidence that seismic testing is harmful to marine life, orders from the administration directed BOEM to restart the process to issue the seismic permits.

On June 6, 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released five Incidental Harassment Allocations (IHAs), a required step before companies can conduct seismic tests to search for offshore oil and gas. To receive an incidental harassment authorization, the proposed activity cannot have more than a “negligible impact” on marine mammals.

However, in 2015, a group of 75 scientists  warned of “significant, long-lasting, and widespread” harm to fish and marine mammal populations if seismic blasting occurred. This process involves dynamite-like blasts going off every ten seconds for weeks or months on end. Such activity will endanger our wildlife, our fisheries and our communities who are dependent on healthy marine environments (click here for info-graphic).

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  1. Businesses should voice opposition by joining the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast
  2. Join our CALL-A-THON to oppose seismic testing! See our Facebook event for more details.
  3. NOAA is accepting public comments on our proposed authorizations until July 6, 2017, and is expected to make a final decision on authorizations later this year. Click here for a direct link to the proposed authorizations.

Submit your public comments today!

Tell the administration you value the wildlife, fisheries, and quality of life supported by healthy offshore environments.

Comments should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Springs, MD 20910

Email comments to [email protected]. Click here for a sample email.


BACKGROUND/TIMELINE
Every 5 years the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) releases a proposed program designed to manage offshore development activities to meet energy needs of the country.

January 2015-2016
BOEM released a draft that included opening the Atlantic Ocean for lease sales for the purpose of drilling for oil and gas development for the first time in 30 years. Since that time, One Hundred Miles has worked to carry the chorus of voices from our coast to the highest levels of government. Collectively, thousands of Georgia citizens wrote letters, made phone calls, submitted comments, attended meetings, and supported local resolutions to encourage BOEM to exclude Georgia and the South Atlantic from the plan.

Many Georgia local government, state government and citizen leaders raised their voices to eliminate the possibility of offshore exploration:

Three Georgia Cities have passed proclamations to proudly designate their own North Atlantic Right Whale celebration days. Thank you to the Cities of Savannah, Thunderbolt, and Tybee!
Six Georgia communities have passed proclamations opposing seismic testing, as well as oil and gas development. Thank you to the Cities of Brunswick, Kingsland, Porterdale, Savannah, St Marys, and Tybee Island!
Additionally, our state legislatures sent a letter to the Department of Interior asking to deny all permit applications for seismic testing off our southeastern coast.
And a group of Georgia mayors asking the previous administration to deny the permits. Click here to read their letter.

March 2016
Our first victory came in March, 2016, when the second draft of the 5-year program was released and excluded the Atlantic Ocean. Read our Full Press Release about our March 2016 victory.

November 2016
Our second victory came when in November 2016, BOEM released the final 5-year lease plan that continued to exclude the Atlantic Ocean, but also excluded the Arctic Ocean as well. Visit BOEMs website for more information about the program.

April 2017
Our 100-mile coast is once again under threat of offshore drilling and exploration. On Friday April 28, 2017 the Trump administration will sign and executive order reversing our past efforts and reopen the Atlantic and Arctic oceans for offshore drilling.

With your help, we remain ever vigilant – working night and day to protect the coast we love. For more information on what YOU can do to protect our oceans, contact Alice Keyes, Vice President of Coastal Conservation at [email protected] or (912) 230-6494.