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Even though an administration official recently said to the media that offshore drilling plans are "on hold," -  THE COAST IS NOT CLEAR.

On March 12, 2019, geophysical company WesternGeco asked North Carolina officials to sign off on its request to conduct seismic airgun surveys for oil and gas in the Atlantic.

Federal law requires applicants to coordinate with the state for proposed activities that affect land use, water use or any natural resource within the coastal zone. With that in mind, North Carolina’s Division of Coastal Management wants to know what you think of seismic blasting.

Here’s what WE think: Seismic blasting poses an imminent threat to our coastal economies and our way of life. It sends deafening blasts of sound through the water column every 10 seconds, up to 24 hours a day, for months on end in order to map the seafloor and locate possible oil and gas reserves. These blasts are deadly for marine populations of all kinds, from the smallest zooplankton to the largest marine animals This destruction not only endangers our delicate marine ecosystem, but could also devastate our vital commercial and recreational fisheries industries, which support tens of thousands of jobs and produce more than $2 billion in sales annually for our state.

Seismic blasting is inconsistent with North Carolina’s coastal management plan and its goal of protecting valuable coastal life. Our natural resources are an essential part of the state’s coastal economy and our coastal heritage, and cannot be put at risk. YOU can help by telling state officials to oppose WesternGeco’s permit application.

The division will accept written comments on the proposal until noon on June 7. You can mail them to DCM Comments, c/o Daniel Govoni, 400 Commerce Avenue, Morehead City, NC 28557 or send an email to You can use the above information to draft your own written comments, or get more information from our site.

Also, you can join us at the Division of Coastal Management’s public comment session at 6 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.




You have the opportunity to reach new audiences, particularly influential thought-leaders, through the printed word. Writing a “Letter to the Editor” of your local paper is an excellent place to start conversations, especially inland, on why opening our coast to offshore drilling will put the entire state at risk. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when crafting your letter to the editor of a local newspaper, magazine, or other relevant publication:

  • Keep it short. Most letters to the editor are between less than 250 words (aim for 150 – 200 words total). Stay focused on one topic for each letter.

  • Include a way for people to take further action. Whether it’s a specific website to visit, event to attend, or person to contact, do include this information in your letter. You not only want people to learn but you want them to get out of their seats, right?

  • Rely on facts. Do your homework and be sure that all of your statements can be traced to credible sources.

  • Make your letter timely, especially if you are responding to a recently published article or event. Submit your letter within two days if it is a daily publication and within one week for magazines or weekly publications.

  • Personalize the issue. Provide an example of how this issue will make you and/or other members of the community. People need to be able to relate and empathize with you.

  • If you submit your letter to a local publication, follow-up with a telephone call the next day to ensure they received it.

  • Include any credentials you may have. It will add to your credibility. If you are affiliated with a university, business, or specific organization that would carry weight on an environmental issue, include this information (your title as well!)

  • Once you select the appropriate newspaper, magazine, or publication to submit your letter to, double-check their requirements for letters, including word length, required information, and how to submit the letter.

  • Encourage other community members to submit letters on the same topic. If the newspaper receives an influx on correspondence on the same topic, the chance of one or more of those letters getting published increases!

  • Avoid insults, jargon, acronyms, and unnecessary words.


Renewable Energy

I attended two meetings conducted by the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management covering the potential for wind power as well as oil exploration off North Carolina’s coast.

I listened to advocates from both industry and environmental groups, and I concluded that oil drilling is wrong for North Carolina. The environmental risks are awful.  Safer, more viable options are available.

North Carolina has great potential for offshore wind energy. Oil rig leaks occur on a regular basis and the only resolve the industry could say is that they are better than in 2010 when they permanently poisoned the Gulf.

The state is facing environmental attacks on many fronts, from Titan Cement to fracking, to oil drilling and coal ash. These are threats to the air we breathe and water we drink.

Sadly, many of our elected representatives seem blinded to these and have more allegiance to the industry than to their constituents.

I want energy independence as much as anyone, but we should focus on achieving it with renewable energy.

Please use the comment period to contact BOEM and also your elected representatives. Let them know that North Carolina can be a leader in renewable energy and we do not want oil drilling. …

Andy McGlinn, Wilmington


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