Advocates Take to Skies to Urge President Obama to Abandon Atlantic Drilling | Oceana

Advocates Take to Skies to Urge President Obama to Abandon Atlantic Drilling

Press Release Date: September 4, 2015

Location: Washington, DC


Anna Baxter | email:
Anna Baxter

Millions of beach-going Americans along the Atlantic Seaboard this weekend will learn some unsettling news: Giant oil-drilling rigs and the industrialization of our coast could be coming soon.

That warning will come from airplane-towed banners flying over beaches from Virginia to South Carolina over the Labor Day Weekend.

The banners, part of a campaign against Atlantic drilling involving a broad coalition of groups, are sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Oceana. They will read, “Pres. Obama: Keep Oil Off This Beach.” They will fly over beaches in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for several hours midday on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The banners are intended to raise awareness of the Administration’s proposed Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which currently includes a proposal to drill off a wide swath of the Atlantic coast.

The proposal—which would expose communities up and down the Atlantic Seaboard to potential risks of a catastrophic oil spill like the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster—is drawing wide and vociferous opposition in communities all along the coast. This would mark the first time since 1983 that drilling in this area has been on the table, and communities along the East Coast are making their voices heard. The revised plan is expected to become public in the coming months.

At last count, 77 towns, cities, counties, and municipalities and 500+ local and state elected officials had called on President Obama to take the Atlantic Ocean off of the table for drilling or exploration.

Map of local opposition to offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting, courtesy of Oceana: 

More from NRDC on potential economic and ecological fallout from offshore drilling:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 600,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe. To learn more, please visit