Hundreds gather for "Hands Across the Sand" - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Hundreds gather for "Hands Across the Sand"

Reported by Casey Roman – bio |email

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Thousands of people linked together up and down our coastline Saturday. The "Hands Across the Sand" event is going on worldwide to rally for clean energy.

People met beside Johnnie Mercer pier, access 33 in Wrightsville Beach, Freeman Park and Carolina Beach's boulevard to join in a silent act of solidarity against off-shore drilling.

At the pier, about 100 gathered silently at the water's edge for a few minutes.

"I get to see this beautiful beach, the water, but they [Gulf Coast residents] don't," said Lauren Shotts, a student at UNCW. "They have oil and mess and catastrophe and disaster. It was heartbreaking to think that's what they're seeing and this is what I'm seeing."

Tens of thousands of people were expected to participate in more than 700 events around the country. The demonstration was prompted by the Gulf oil spill to raise awareness about off-shore drilling. Organizers were hoping to catch the attention of the nation's leaders to adopt clean energy policies.

"It's outrageous what's going on to the beach and the shore and the wildlife," said Shotts. "It's just absolutely ridiculous!"

"We must become active in this movement to cleaner energy," said Brinkley Hutchings, the President of UNCW and one of the event's volunteers. "We must hold our government accountable and the oil companies accountable for their actions."   

They hope to encourage North Carolina to become a leader in alternative energy use, including solar, wind and water power.

"We would much rather see wind turbines off our coast than an oil derrick," said Hutchings.

The organizers of this event were Kristi King, Leilani Tootoo Balaban, Jennifer Nolan, Tara Fernandez de Castro, the Surfrider Foundation, and Nancy Cox of Organizing for America.

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