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Jun 252010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

The message of Hands Across the Sands, its founder likes to say, is simple: Say ‘No’ to oil drilling and ‘Yes’ to clean energy.

Hands Across the Sands in Florida in Feb. 2010

To make that point crystal clear, thousands of Americans are expected to line up on beaches tomorrow (June 26) at 11 a.m. to join hands and show their solidarity on that point. The gatherings will last 15 minutes. Organizers will take a photo of the group, and then members will disband, leaving only their footprints behind. (Anyone can participate by hooking up with an event at the Hands’ website.)

While the answers to America’s oil addiction may be more complicated than just saying ‘No” to drilling, this basic show of sentiment is intended to let lawmakers know that they must forge a new energy direction, especially in the wake of the devastating BP oil spill.

A similar message got through to the Florida legislature last year, when it was considering opening coastal regions of Florida to oil drilling. That’s when Dave Rauschkolb, a surfer and restaurateur in Seaside on the Florida panhandle, founded Hands Across the Sands, which brought thousands of Floridians to their beaches in February to demonstrate, and ultimately helped squelch plans to drill for oil in Florida’s aquamarine waters.

Tomorrow’s protest involves people anywhere and everywhere who want to make a statement against continued oil drilling, but participation is especially high in the affected gulf states.

“We are drawing a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling along America’s beaches and in solidarity events across America and around the world. No one industry should be able to place entire coastal economies and marine environments at risk with dangerous, dirty mistakes,” said Rauschkolb.

Hands has the support of several large environmental groups which are sponsoring this effort, such as Sierra Club, Audubon, Surfrider Foundation, Greenpeace, MoveOn.org, 350, Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana, Friends of the Earth, 1Sky, Rainforest Action Network. Many smaller groups also endorse the project, such as Planet Rehab, The Dolphin Foundation and SOS Florida.