Thousands gather nationwide to raise awareness about clean energy

Thousands gather nationwide to raise awareness about clean energy
Crowds joined hands forming lines across beaches, parks and state capitol steps across the country in synchronized “Hands Across the Sand/Land” demonstrations Saturday.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Crowds joined hands forming lines across beaches, parks and state capitol steps across the country in synchronized Hands Across the Sand demonstrations Saturday.

Eighty-seven synchronized events across 15 states and five countries were held to raise awareness about the dangers of dirty fuels and the need to accelerate the transition to available, affordable clean energy solutions. More than 100 people gathered at Wrightsville Beach to join Oceana for the event. They chanted things like, “protect our coast” and “don’t blast, don’t drill.”

Organizers at the Wrightsville Beach event said the show of opposition came as the Trump administration made a preliminary proposal in 2018 to expand offshore drilling to nearly all of America’s coastlines.

“Once there’s a spill out here, and it will happen, if they drill, they spill," Randy Sturgill, Oceana’s president, said. “Once that happens, you’re going to see the tourism fade away. You’re going to see home ownership and business ownership in the coastal areas depreciate."

Organizers said they believe North Carolina’s beaches are the “crown jewel" of the state, and once those are taken away to offshore drilling, then the state will see significant losses.

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