TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — The message is loud and clear — the people of Tybee Island are calling on the Biden administration to keep Georgia’s coastline clean by preventing any oil companies from performing offshore drilling operations in the coming years.
“I am so happy that you all are joining us today to stand against big oil who is seeking new leases in the Atlantic coast, the gulf of Mexico and the pacific coast. We’re saying, protect our coast, protect our coast, protect our coast,” exclaimed Hermina Glass-Hill, Georgia Field Rep of Oceana.
The day got started with a beach clean-up.
Tim Arnold, founder of Tybee Clean Beach volunteers says three items are the most damaging for Georgia’s beaches and Ocean: cigarette butts, styrofoam and plastic straws. He says, the thought of the damage that a potential oil spill could cause would be devastating.
“When you live on an island you really understand the interconnected nature of ocean and land and the creatures that inhabit it, and you know, we’re just terrified at the thought of an oil spill or even seismic testing disrupting our right whale calf that bursts off the island,” said Tim Arnold, Founder of Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers.
The event was capped off by the annual ‘Hands Across the Sand’ ceremony, symbolically taking a stand against offshore drilling all across the country.
According to Mayor Shirley Sessions, Tybee Island has about 3,500 full time residents but on any given day they could have have up to 50,000 people visiting the island.
With only one way on and off the island, she says any tragic occurrence could prove disastrous.
“It’s so much bigger than Tybee, it’s so much bigger than our economic impact which would be devastating. For our residents it would be horrible, for our future it would be really, really traumatic,” explained Sessions.
If you want to get involved with this movement at home, event organizers say the best way to make your voice heard is to reach out to your local lawmakers to let them know your stance on the issue.