BERLIN – A coalition of environmental groups will host a “Hands Across The Sand” event at Assateague State Park Day Use Area this Saturday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m.
Almost 350 people have expressed interest in attending the event per the gathering’s Facebook page. The event is part of a worldwide movement that started in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. At noon on May 19, citizens around the globe will come together to join hands in defense of the world’s oceans and to show solidarity for a clean energy future.
The gathering on Assateague Island will aim to show unified opposition to the Trump administration’s recent proposal to allow oil and gas exploration and development in the Atlantic, including areas off Maryland’s coast.
In January of this year, the Trump administration unveiled its first draft of a new Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program that proposed opening over 90% of the United States offshore regions to oil and gas development. The draft plan ignored overwhelming coastal opposition, and a grassroots movement that compelled the previous administration to abandon plans to pursue offshore drilling and exploration along the Atlantic coast.
Eight years after offshore drilling caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, citizens will join Assateague Coastal Trust, Oceana, the Assateague Coastkeeper, the Surfrider Foundation Ocean City Chapter and others to once again “draw a line in the sand” and oppose the industrialization of coastal communities and the risk of another BP Deepwater Horizon-like disaster.
According to organizers, the gathering point will be the concession stand area at 11:30 a.m. followed by a brief walk to the beach at noon.
Scheduled speakers include State Senator James Mathias, Carol Rose of Delegate Mary Beth Carozza’s Office, Kathy Phillips of Assateague Coastal Trust, Matt Heim of Oceana and Jane Robinson of the Surfrider Foundation Ocean City Chapter.