Our barrier islands, under siege

From the Outer Banks to Sunset Beach, North Carolina has some of the country’s nation’s most famous beaches. 

Drawing more than 11 million visitors every year, North Carolina’s coastal communities give us a chance to swim, fish, surf, or catch a glimpse of hatching sea turtles. They also support a thriving fishing and tourist economy. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce coastal visitors spent roughly $4 billion in 2013 alone.

A renewed push to drill off the coast

In January, the Obama administration announced plans to open up the Atlantic coast, from Virginia through Georgia to offshore oil drilling. The oil and gas industry, along with Gov. Pat McCrory applauded the decision. Some of our state leaders, including Sen. Thom Tillis criticized the announcement as not going far enough, and have asked to move the current 50-mile limit even closer to shore.

Drilling has been banned on the Atlantic coast for 30 years—and for good reason. Gulf communities are still reeling from the impacts of the BP oil spill that happened in 2010. Now oil and gas interests have their sights set off the coast of Cape Hatteras, home to more marine life — including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales — than most places in the world. Ancient deep-water coral reefs off of Wrightsville Beach are also at risk.

There are some places just too precious to drill. If enough of us come together, we can protect the North Carolina coast for future generations. 

How we can protect our coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is in the process of determining the next five-year plan for oil and gas leasing. That plan runs from 2017-2022, and could be finalized as soon as next summer.

We’re demanding that the Obama administration remove North Carolina from the plan. To make that happen, North Carolinians need to come together and voice their opposition to drilling.

Please tell President Obama: No drilling off the North Carolina coast! 

The bill, introduced on the one-year anniversary of the Gulf spill by Sen. Bob Rucho, promoted opening North Carolina's Outer Banks and the rest of our fragile coastal areas to oil and gas drilling.  

After repeatedly failing to garner enough votes to override the veto, legislative leaders finally let their drill, baby, drill bill languish—for now. 

We at Environment North Carolina will continue to stand up for our beaches, and press for permanent protections for our coast.



Oceans updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Lessons for NC coast to learn as Gulf communities still suffer five years later

Raleigh, NC – Gulf communities and wildlife are still reeling from the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to "Deepwater Horizon: An Ongoing Environmental Disaster,” a factsheet released by the Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center. Today marks the five-year anniversary of the disaster, when a British Petroleum oil rig exploded and spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The leak continued for 87 days, when emergency workers were finally able to cap the well.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Deepwater Horizon: An Ongoing Environmental Disaster

The BP Deepwater Horizon blowout took a massive toll on our environment and the region’s wildlife and communities. For three months after the initial explosion, millions of gallons of crude oil and thousands of tons of methane spewed from the sea floor. Eleven people were killed and dozens more injured. Five years later, we are still suffering from the effects.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment North Carolina

Threat to wildlife in focus after record attendance at offshore drilling meeting

Raleigh, NC- From spills soaking sea birds in oil, to seismic exploration putting whales and dolphins at risk, each stage of offshore drilling threatens precious Atlantic marine life, says an analysis from Environment North Carolina. The new document detailing the threats drilling poses to sea animals comes after hundreds of North Carolinians attended a Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management public meeting about their proposal to allow oil and gas rigs off North Carolina’s coasts in Kill Devil Hills this week.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment North Carolina

Offshore Drilling: Fact Sheet on Impacts to Marine Life

Our coasts are home to stunning wildlife and incredible beaches, from the Jersey Shore to the Outer Banks to the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately offshore drilling is putting our natural heritage and marine life at risk. On ‘good’ days, drilling kills and injures wildlife and threatens human health and the economy. When they happen (which is all too frequently) major disasters such as the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout are catastrophic.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment North Carolina

On day NC fracking permits can be issued, new report details massive PA fracking violation

Raleigh, NC- On the first day that fracking permits can be issued, a report released today documented more than one thousand environmental violations by the fracking industry in Pennsylvania. The report, titled “Fracking Failures,” analyzed permit violations over the last three years. Joining Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center at the release were several concerned legislators, including legislators from the areas at the center of the fracking debate.

> Keep Reading


View AllRSS Feed