Hundreds form a line in the Huntington Beach sand to protest offshore drilling
They built a wall at the border – the border between sand and sea.
Several hundred people formed the barrier, of sorts, along the Huntington Beach shoreline Saturday, May 18, to protest offshore oil and gas drilling.
It was one of hundreds of demonstrations around the country meant to underscore the risks of drilling on the ocean floor. Established in 2010, Hands Across the Sand has become an international event – with participants clasping hands at noon in their various time zones.
The event took place at eight California sites, including San Diego, Playa del Rey and Malibu.
Huntington Beach was selected this year in part because it is centrally located in Orange County. More important, organizers wanted to send a message to local leaders, said Nancy Downes, spokeswoman for the environmental group Oceana.
“Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and Dana Point have all approved resolutions opposing new leases for oil and gas exploration in federal waters,” Downes said. “But Huntington Beach and Seal Beach have remained less vocal.”
In 2017, Laguna Beach became the first city in Orange County to oppose a plan by the Trump administration to open drilling for gas and oil off the California coastline.
“Republicans and Democrats nationwide have come together on this issue,” Downes said.
The San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation and other environmental nonprofits helped organize the protest.
“Off-shore drilling impacts fishing, tourism and quality of life,” Downes said. “We all need to speak up.”