With the Trump Administration announcing plans to potentially expand offshore oil drilling to over 90% of U.S. waters, Southern California, we must be more vigilant than ever to stand up for the protection of our oceans.

The details:

The Draft Proposed Program for 2019-2024 was released by the Department of Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, who announced on January 4, 2018, of new oil drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean. Southern California is included and new leases for offshore drilling may be up for grabs.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) develops the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for oil and gas development in accordance with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCS Lands Act). This National OCS Program establishes a five-year schedule of oil and gas lease sales proposed for the U.S. OCS. The National OCS Program specifies the size, timing, and location of potential leasing activity that the Secretary of the Interior determines will best meet national energy needs for the five-year period under consideration.

Surfrider and other groups like our friends at Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) oppose additional offshore oil and gas drilling because it is risky and jeopardizes our ocean and the coastal communities and economies that rely on a clean and healthy ocean. Offshore drilling has become more dangerous since oil industry-backed appointees have moved to revoke drilling safety rules adopted after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Ventura County depends on our clean ocean waters and beaches.

For in-depth detail on the 2019-2024 National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program, please read further here.

Impacts for Offshore Oil Drilling:

Oil Exploration: Seismic blasts from oil exploration stun and deafen marine life, including whales and dolphins, fatally disrupting communication, navigation and life cycle patterns.

Drilling & Processing: Rigs emit toxic drilling muds onto the seafloor, continuously polluting our oceans with heavy metals and petroleum derivatives able to accumulate up the food chain.

Oil Spills: Oil spills are an inevitable part of drilling, and cause long-term damage to entire ecosystems, harming fish, marine mammals, birds and other species for years to come.

Onshore Impacts: Oil production leads to the industrialization of our coastlines, including infrastructure for transportation, storage, processing and delivery.

Climate Change: The oil and gas sector is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the US. Instead of reducing risks, new drilling will exacerbate the dangerous effects of climate change.

Threatened Coastal Economy: The ocean dependent tourism and recreation sector provides 12 times more jobs than offshore oil production, and contributes over $107 billion each year in national GDP. Expanding offshore oil and gas production puts this entire sector at risk.

Your Voice Matters:

There are a number of ways you can make your voice heard. We must do all that we can to protect our coast. #DefendOurCoasts

The BOEM is accepting public comments as the agency develops the new five-year program. Use your voice and make your opinion heard.

#ProtectOurCoast No New Offshore Drilling Rally on Saturday February 3rd from Noon til 2pm. Come rally with us in Ventura to stand against the federal plans for opening up our Pacific Coast to more oil and gas drilling. This Ventura event is the ancestral home of the Chumash people, and is part of a coastal day of action in communities up and down the California coast. Check out the details about this rally here.

Call your federal reps to ask them to oppose new offshore drilling.

Help pass local resolutions against offshore drilling.

Submit letters to your local newspaper.

Download our Say No to Offshore Drilling Postcard. Use the hashtag #DefendOurCoasts and #Surfrider

The Surfrider Ventura Chapter meeting will be held on February 6, 2018 at 6:30pm at Patagonia.

We will be discussing the new threat of offshore drilling and updates on our other programs and campaigns. We look forward to seeing you there.