WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Surfrider collecting signatures demanding no new oil well drilling off the west coast

Newport Business Leaders To Sign Surfboard Against Offshore Drilling
Coordinated by the Surfrider Foundation, the Sign the Surfboard project
is a representation of recreation industry opposition to offshore oil drilling

NEWPORT, OREGON – On Thursday, September 27, at 4 p.m., Local Ocean Seafoods is hosting the Surfrider Foundation’s traveling surfboard, which represents opposition to offshore oil drilling by the coastal recreation and tourism industries and invites other business owners to join in signing the board. The surfboard has traveled through coastal communities from southern California to Oregon this spring and summer, with local businesses signing the surfboard as it travels north. As a member of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast (BAPPC), Local Ocean joins over 1,000 other businesses on the West Coast opposed to offshore oil and gas development.

In January, the federal administration released a proposal to open 90% of U.S. waters, including the Pacific coast, to new oil and gas drilling. The proposal threatens both the health of the marine environment and the many coastal businesses and industries that depend upon it for survival.

“Oregon’s beaches are the pride of our state and the economic engine for our coast. An oil spill would prove to be devastating for our fishing, tourism, and recreation jobs. Plans for offshore drilling put all of this at risk,” said Jocelyn Enevoldsen, coordinator for the Oregon Surfboard Tour. “We ask our federal leaders to protect our livelihoods from this threat.”

(QUOTE OPPORTUNITY Laura Anderson, owner of Local Ocean Seafoods, will attend the event)

The surfboard, donated to the Surfrider Foundation by Firewire Surfboards, began its journey in San Diego, CA in March and is traveling up the West Coast collecting signatures in local communities along the way. The Sign the Surfboard project has been enthusiastically received on its journey as hundreds of businesses add their signatures. For BAPPC members, a healthy coast is vital to their bottom lines, as well as the lifestyles of their customers and staff.

In spring of 2019, the surfboard will be presented to the U.S. Department of the Interior as a representation of opposition to the Draft Proposed Program for Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program.

A healthy ocean is a major economic engine for Oregon’s coastal communities. Beyond the many fishing-related jobs, this includes small business owners who operate bed and breakfasts, restaurants, whale watching charters, and rentals for recreational equipment such as kayaks, surfboards, diving equipment, among others. A 2011 study by NaturalEquity, Surfrider, and Ecotrust found that coastal recreation alone generates $2.4 billion per year.

No new oil leases have been offered off the Pacific coast since 1984, but the federal proposal calls for seven from 2019 to 2024. The proposal met with immediate, bipartisan opposition, with state and local leaders around the country urging the federal government to protect the millions of jobs and businesses that rely on a healthy ocean. In Oregon, the cities of Port Orford, Newport, Lincoln City, Toledo, Yachats, and Gold Beach have passed resolutions opposing the proposal. The Siletz Tribal Council and Ports of Toledo and Newport have also passed resolutions.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received hundreds of thousands of public comments opposing the “Draft Proposed Program” for offshore drilling, including more than 30,000 from Oregonians. After environmental reviews are conducted, the Bureau will release the “Proposed Program,” expected in late 2018 and triggering another comment period. The “Final Proposed Program” is expected in 2019. The current plan includes seven lease sales on the Pacific Coast: one for Oregon and Washington, and six in California.

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