Last week, an Inland Delegation of businesspeople, divers, one-time coastal residents and others who believe that every state is connected to the sea went to Washington, DC to attend aBlue Vision Summit and the largest ever ocean conservation lobby day. Along with fellow citizens from 23 other states 20 Coloradans met with our congressional delegation to oppose new off-shore oil surveys and drilling. A week later we’re seeing the beaches of Santa Barbara California fouled with spilled oil just as the Gulf of Mexico was 5 years ago by BP’s deadly Deepwater Horizon blowout.
The federal government is currently considering opening up the East Coast to new offshore drilling for the first time ever, as well as planning to authorize new drilling in the rough frontier waters of the U.S. Arctic Ocean.
The spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, with its images of dying oil covered sea birds reminds us of a much bigger spill that took place there in 1969 and that helped launch the modern environmental movement. Even though Colorado is a thousand miles from any coast, we have a vested interest in the health of our ocean that provides us with half the oxygen we breath, the weather and rain that feeds our crops and the occasional ocean escapes that can feed our soul. Coal and oil were important energy sources of past centuries. In the 21st century we ought to be able to generate clean energy without putting our coastlines, ocean, climate and economy at risk.
Vicki Nichols Goldstein
Founder & Director, Colorado Ocean Coalition