The Beacon

Hands Across the Sand: Building a Movement for Clean Energy

A 2012 Hands Across the Sand event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo: Alex Johnson / Flickr Creative Commons)

“We must connect with generations past, generations present, and generations future and weave a thread of balance and wisdom for our planet.  Forget borders, forget the elements that separate us.  We have done our damage, we now have the power to undo and together, join hands and build a path that sustains us all.”

These are the words of Dave Rauschkolb, who founded Hands Across the Sand according to this principle after the devastating BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.  Since then, Hands Across the Sand has grown into a movement of people and organizations all around the world committed to ending our dependence on fossil fuel energy and promoting clean, sustainable energy alternatives.

In late May each year, activists join hands to form a literal line in the sand of their beach.  The line we draw creates a powerful statement and visual message: we will not stand for further assaults on the health and integrity of our ocean, and we will champion clean energy solutions.

Oceana has been a proud sponsor of the event and supporter of the movement since its beginning.  This year, at a flagship event in Virginia Beach, I spoke to a crowd of nearly 100 people about the immediate dangers of seismic airgun blasting, the first step in offshore drilling, which threatens Virginia and other east coast states spanning from Delaware to Florida. Over 200 Floridians and Oceana volunteers attended another event in St. Pete’s Beach, Fla., riding bikes, buses, and trolleys to keep oil drilling off Florida’s beaches and demand clean, solar energy for their state. 

As we reflect on this year’s Hands Across the Sand events, we must also look to the future.  Hands Across the Sand represents the powerful sentiment of citizens from around the world saying no to dirty fossil fuels and yes to clean renewable energy, like offshore wind.  This movement away from coal, oil, and natural gas forward towards wind, solar, and other creative alternatives transcends national borders and political parties.  We are all citizens of the same planet and we must work together towards a clean energy future.

Oceana supporters have been working tirelessly to do just that.  Last month, Oceana announced that 160+ animal welfare and conservation groups, 150,000+ citizens, 50 members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, and 75+ local elected officials from coastal towns had joined us in taking a public stance against seismic airgun blasting, the first step in offshore drilling.  Will you join us?  Add your name to the growing list of citizens opposing seismic, sign up to host or attend a screening of our latest documentary on the dangers of offshore drilling, or contact the campaign organizer for your region to get involved locally. Together, we can say no to offshore drilling and yes to offshore wind, fight climate change, and protect our oceans.


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