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The Trump Administration has recently proposed further opening federal waters to oil and gas drilling. An expansion of oil drilling in our oceans will be a severe blow to decades-long efforts to protect endangered and threatened sea turtles and other marine wildlife.

Trump’s Proposed Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing Program would place thousands of miles of America’s coast at risk from oil and gas operations, including catastrophic oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that spewed 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As many as 320,000 Kemp’s ridley, green and loggerhead sea turtles may have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Photo: NOAA)

WHAT YOU CAN DO – 4 SIMPLE THINGS TO PROTECT OUR OCEANS

 

  1. Contact your representatives and ask them to directly oppose this disastrous proposal. Pushback from Florida has already let to it being excluded from the plan. Send a tweet to your federal representative especially if you live in a coastal state. 
  2. Sign our petition. Click here to add your name.
  3. Submit written comments to the federal government. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) just opened a 60-day comment period on the proposal. Click here to submit comments. Please see below for a sample comment and talking points. 
  4. Attend a public meeting near you. The BOEM is planning public hearings in affected communities in the coming weeks. See a schedule here.

“Oil spills are deadly to sea turtles. Expanding oil and gas drilling in known sea turtle habitat borders on the criminal.” – Peter Fugazzotto, strategic programs director for Turtle Island Restoration Network

“People have been working hard to help Kemp’s ridley populations recover after the Deepwater spill. This proposal undermines those years of hard work.” – Joanie Steinhaus, Gulf of Mexico program director for Turtle Island Restoration Network


Proposed Drilling Areas

Protect sea turtles, resist offshore drilling


 

Sample Text to Submit to the BOEM

Kelly Hammerle
National Program Manager
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
U.S. Department of Interior
45600 Woodland Road
Mailstop VAM-LD
Sterling, VA 20166

RE: Opposition to the Draft Proposed OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024

Dear Ms. Hammerle,

I am writing to express my strong opposition to Draft Proposed OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024 and I encourage you to stay with the 2017-2022 Program that was finalized in 2016. The new draft proposal contradicts the findings of the BOEM’s prior drilling program for 2017-2022.

Expanding oil and gas drilling in our oceans will increase risks to endangered and threatened sea turtles. Some of the most critically endangered species include the Eastern Pacific leatherback population, the Hawaiian hawksbill population, and the Kemp’s ridley which is found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea turtles will be at increased risk from oil spill events like that of the Deepwater Horizon, increased risk from ship strikes from expanded tanker transport operations, and increased risk from seismic surveys and the building of pipelines and platforms.

Additionally, tourism and recreation industries generate billions of dollars for coastal states and the nation as a whole and these industries depend on a healthy marine ecosystem. Expanded oil drilling may negatively impact these industries, especially if there is another catastrophic spill or wildlife is killed.

Thank you for considering my comments.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Talking Points for Comments

  • Expanded offshore oil and gas development would require seismic surveys, drilling, increased oil tanker traffic, and building platforms, pipelines, and other infrastructure. All of these activities have impacts on sea turtles and other marine wildlife.
  • The new draft proposal contradicts the findings of the BOEM’s offshore drilling program for 2017-2022 finalized in 2016.
  • Tourism and recreation industries generate billions of dollars for coastal states and the nation as a whole and these industries depend on a healthy marine ecosystem.
  • All seven species of sea turtles of have been listed as threatened or endangered under U.S. law through international treaties. Some of the most critically endangered species include the Eastern Pacific leatherback population, the Hawaiian hawksbill population, and the Kemp’s ridley which is found in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Continued mortality from industrial fishing operations and the loss of nesting habitat due to climate change have set the stage for precipitous declines of once healthy populations. Expanding oil and gas drilling adds to the cumulative stressors that these species are facing.

Tweet 

The Trump Administration has recently proposed further opening federal waters to oil and gas drilling. An expansion of oil drilling in our oceans will be a severe blow to decades-long efforts to protect endangered and threatened sea turtles and other marine wildlife.

Please ask your members of Congress to protect sea turtles and other marine wildlife and America’s coast by publicly opposing the expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling. 

Find your representative’s Twitter handle and sample tweets here.