Sponsorship of "Stop Seismic Blasting and Ocean Drilling"
Rally in Sunset Beach Town Park on July 17, 2017
BEAT's first rally, and it was a great success! More than 200 people attended the rally and heard a series of terrific speakers. Neil Gilbert introduced the rally and Sunset Beach Town Council member Rich Cerrato. Rich welcomed the crowd and reaffirmed the Town Council’s firm (and unanimous!) opposition to offshore drilling. State Representative Deb Butler, D-Wilmington, recounted some of the efforts of North Carolina’s state legislature to destroy environmental protection laws and commented on Brunswick County being one of only two counties on the state’s coast which has refused to pass a resolution banning offshore drilling. Dr. Dwight Willis, speaking on behalf of Brunswick County Commissioner Mike Forte (who had a death in the family) discussed efforts to educate the County Commissioners about the huge potential harms from seismic blasting and offshore drilling. He also pointed out that all of South Carolina’s U.S. representatives oppose offshore drilling as do all of North Carolina’s with the one exception of David Rouzer – who represents our district.
Dr. Kyle Horton, a Wilmington physician who plans to run against Rouzer in the next election discussed environmental protection in the context of the health of our people, jobs, the economy, and quality of life. The crowd roared in response to her comment, “Where we’ve drilled, we’ve spilled, and where we’ve spilled, we’ve killed – not just marine life but workers.” Joan Furlong of Stop Ocean Drilling in the Atlantic described how her volunteer organization in South Carolina has partnered with a variety of individuals and groups to help win opposition to offshore drilling. Finally, Randy Sturgill of Oceana, summed up many of the day’s key points and encouraged everyone to participate in efforts to protect the environment.
The rally received wonderful coverage by Laura Lewis and the Brunswick Beacon, by WECT and by WWAY.