On June 25th 2011, at around 12 noon over 700 South Floridians joined hands in South Miami Beach to oppose expanded offshore drilling and urge investments in cleaner energy choices. Hundreds of other beach-goers watched as a massive line was organized at the water’s edge. Hands Across the Sand is back.
All of the organizing credit goes to our local volunteer groups like Surfrider.org, Oceana.org, MIRA USA, ecomb (Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches), Urban Paradise Guild, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Environment Florida and others who worked diligently to make the meet a success.
And it was a success because literally millions more people around the globe stood in solidarity at the same time to send a loud and vital message to our legislators. ‘We don’t want oil rigs off our coast lines.’
Aside from the line of protest which spanned as far as a person could see, the ‘Prohibiting oil drilling in Florida waters seaward of Florida’s mean high tide line’ petition was circulating as well. From the above link, you can download a copy, fill it out and send it off. You may say, ‘Oh big deal, another petition.’
Well, it is a big deal. Last year a measure to ban off-shore drilling submitted by then governor Charlie Crist did go before the Florida State legislature. And after 49 minutes of discussion, it was not allowed to go to vote. Last month, the US Congress passed three bills enabling off-shore drilling in our waters. It seems Congress and our legislature didn’t learn anything from the Deepwater Horizon debacle.
But, this year is different. This year if activits get the required number of signatures, it will be put on the November 2012 ballot. And you, the Florida voter, will decide whether you want to risk your jobs, your health, your homes, your businesses and your very way of life at the behest of big oil.
If enacted, the Florida Constitution will be amended accordingly to ban off-shore drilling from Florida shorelines forever.
And if you’re teetering on the fence regarding a yes or no vote, don’t worry; the number of needed signatures isn’t even close yet. The promoters are aiming for 700,000 signed petitions; an overage needed to adjust for duplications and non-valid voters. And the deadline is in February of 2012 to file. It’s a lofty goal, but entirely doable with your help. So, there’s time to get the facts and information straight in the meantime.
A good source of information regarding off-shore drilling is an informative article by a feisty but dedicated and knowledgeable Oceana activist named Katie Parrish. In it, you’ll find some facts that will open your eyes.
In the end, this is your environment. Big oil shouldn’t be allowed to play Russian-roulette with Florida economies, health and lifestyles. By taking action, you have the right to decide if you’ll keep Miami Dade and all Florida beaches and shorelines clean and healthy for our industries and lifestyles.
So, yay for our side today; Hands Across the Sand was a success. But, tomorrow get the petition, fill it out and send it off. If you belong to a group or part of a HOA in Miami Dade or anywhere in Florida, you might want to send the petitions in bulk to the address included on the petition. If not, send it by itself. Either way, this is your time to exercise your right to vote; sign the petition.
The send to address is:
Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores, Inc.,
And stay healthy guys and gals.