Today the Monterey Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution opposing new offshore oil and gas drilling. The Monterey Board of Supervisors is the first to pass such a resolution on the Monterey Bay Peninsula, joining over one hundred other municipalities nationwide who have voiced opposition to offshore drilling.
“A spill off our shores would devastate Monterey County’s waters and wildlife, not to mention the damage it would inflict on the families and businesses that depend on healthy, thriving oceans,” said County Supervisor Jane Parker. “Today’s resolution affirms the Board’s commitment to protecting the natural resources that are integral to our quality of life and the economic vitality of our area.”
“The Monterey Board of Supervisors just sent a clear message to decision-makers in Washington, DC that California’s coast is not for sale,” said Ashley Blacow, Pacific policy and communications manager with Oceana. “It is more important than ever that we resolve to protect the health of the oceans for all the benefits they provide. We applaud the Board for standing up to safeguard the precious Monterey Bay against offshore drilling.”
“As a leader of a coastal conservation non-profit with a mission to steward clean shores, healthy habitats and living waters in our Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, it is particularly gratifying to see the Monterey Board of Supervisors unite and take a stand against potential future threats to our Sanctuary,” said Katherine O’Dea, Executive Director of Save Our Shores. “Environmental policy coming out of D.C. these days is imprudent at best, so action by our local governing bodies is one of our best lines of defense.”
"Monterey Bay is a global epicenter of wildlife diversity and is also an economic driver for local cities and counties,” said Diane Hoskins, National campaign director for Oceana’s effort to protect our coasts from new offshore drilling. “Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that would threaten Monterey’s ocean tourism and recreation industries that support more than 14,000 jobs and generates more than $842 million dollars annually. Expanding offshore drilling will threaten local communities, marine life, fisheries, and human health.”
The West Coast has long been safeguarded from expanded offshore drilling; no new leases have been granted in Pacific federal waters since 1984 or in California state waters since 1969. An April 2017 Presidential Executive Order threatens to change this by calling for a reevaluation of all U.S. ocean waters for their oil and gas potential, including the Pacific Coast. In response, local jurisdictions in California have been speaking out, with ten municipalities passing resolutions since April.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With nearly 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. To learn more about Oceana’s work in the United States, please visit www.usa.oceana.org.
Save Our Shores is the California Central Coast’s oldest marine conservation nonprofit. We advocate for clean shores, healthy habitats and living waters in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Get involved at saveourshores.org