Folks you have probably heard about the public meeting on offshore oil drilling that will be happening in Annapolis, MD – March 9th 3:00-7:00 PM, Loews Hotel Annapolis, 126 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. Facebook Event here https://www.facebook.com/events/908011085916872/
Here’s what you need to know – this is a Public Meeting in an “Open House” format, as opposed to a public hearing where you can take the microphone, speak your mind, and have it recorded into the official record. You can view their displays, talk to agency staff, and write your comments via a computer at the meeting.
Take a look at how difficult it was to hear the BOEM employees speaking during this extremely loud “Open House” type of Meeting in Norfolk. I was 5 feet away from this person.
I was standing five or six feet away from this person at the “Open House” Public Meeting help by BOEM on Offshore Oil drilling. The meeting was held in Norfolk, VA and most people I was with were dumbfounded that there was no microphone at this “public meeting” as a way to be heard.
If you are planning to attend, here are some ideas for your comments.
- The Hearing format is not helpful to the public. There is no reason the open house format can’t be held for a couple of hours and then have an actual hearing where people’s oral comments are recorded into the record.
- The process of Ocean Planning is just beginning in the Mid-Atlantic (NY to VA) and it is designed to avoid conflicts of ocean uses. So why throw oil and gas drilling into the mix, a major conflict for several ocean-dependent industries, before Ocean Planning has been completed?
- Ocean Planning in the Southeast (NC to GA) has not really even started. There is no substantial data on non-consumptive recreation ocean use in the Southeast. It didn’t exist in the Mid Atlantic before their Ocean Planning process started. Surfrider Foundation conducted surveys and put all that data on recreational ocean use into the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal It makes no sense to drill in a region where the economic value of recreation has not been quantified.
- The computers at the hearing let you do written word comments, but they also let you draw maps about areas you are concerned with, while you explain those concerns. Learn more about BOEM’s Geoportal in this online presentation
- The tourism economy of the entire Delmarva peninsula would be put at risk by offshore drilling. It is not worth the risk.
- The protected barrier island off of Virginia’s eastern shore are a national treasure. No where along the east coast is there such a stretch of undeveloped coastal and ocean habitats. Threatening these with oil and gas development is unacceptable
- Oil spills such as the oil train derailment that happened in West Virginia last month would become more frequent and that is also unacceptable. That train was en route to a storage facility in Yorktown, VA.
Offshore oil drilling planned for the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states naturally threatens the tourism economy which is one of the reasons we are against it. But a new report by Oceana shows that there are more jobs to be had in offshore wind development than in oil drilling.
The Chapter meeting – 1st Saturday of the Month – will be on Saturday, August 2nd, at the Longboard Cafe, 6701 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842 11AM. Please come out and bring a friend.
One topic we will discuss is the possibility of a smoking ban on Ocean City Beaches. The City Council has already discussed this in
Surf Swap on June 1st, Fagers Island, 9AM registration.
Sorry for the short notice on this one. Chapter meeting this Saturday, May 3rd, at 11 AM. It will be at the Taphouse, on 45th Street, (not at Bull on the Beach this time.)
Due to unforeseen circumstances we are looking for a Vice-Chair of the Chapter. Please consider it if you have 2-20 hours a week,
at Bull on the Beach
Last reminder I promise. Thanks to those who’ve said they are coming to Saturday’s meeting and also for sending in some pictures. We will get to work on them soon.
You know the deal, there is a Chapter meeting on Saturday. There will also be a heat wave – mid forties so come out the beach!
We want to applaud our members, volunteers and supporters for a successful 2013. We wish all the best for the coming year and hope they might find some warm weather and waves. Specifically, we want to thank : the Castle in the Sand Hotel, the Bull on the