key west race week
This week, Oceana's corporate partner Nautica invited us to Key West Race Week to spread the word and gather support for our opposition to Congressional efforts to open up Floridaâ€™s coasts to offshore drilling.
In the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009, thereâ€™s a proposal that would open up currently protected areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.
Why is this proposal such a big deal? Iâ€™ll give you a few reasonsâ€¦
1. Currents: the Florida and Loop currents in the Gulf spread vital nutrients to marine life off Floridaâ€™s west coast, so if the currents are exposed to oil, it could expose Floridaâ€™s beaches and marine habitats to oil contamination.
2. Habitats: Floridaâ€™s mangroves and corals provide habitat for over 40 bird species, over 500 fish species, sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, sharks and commercially-important shellfish like spiny lobsters, oysters, clams and shrimp. These habitats are particularly vulnerable to oil.