As you’ve likely read or heard about from our action alert, President Trump signed an executive order last week that aims to expand offshore drilling off our coast.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation opposes offshore oil and gas drilling off the North Carolina coast, and we have been against this controversial and potentially destructive process for three decades. The risks to our coastal resources, economy and industries are simply too great.

Governors play an important role in the federal process for deciding if a coastal region is opened to oil exploration. That’s why one of our most important backstops in preventing oil and gas drilling off our coast is North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Following a precedent set by Gov. Jim Martin in 1990, it is very important that Cooper tells federal officials that drilling is not consistent with our federally approved coastal management program.

So right now, the most important step you can take to protect the coast from offshore oil drilling is to contact Cooper. You can contact the governor by:

Be sure to share your concerns in your own words and include your personal connections to the coast, its resources and its economy. Here are a few other facts to include in your comments:

  • Offshore drilling threatens coastal tourism, a major economic driver for the state.
    • In 2015, domestic travelers spent a record $21.9 billion across the state, and tourism directly supported 211,490 jobs in North Carolina.
    • In 2014, tourism brought a record $2.4 billion in revenue into 10 coastal county economies.
  • Offshore drilling threatens coastal habitats that support fishing.
    • Recreational and commercial fishing maintain a billion dollar industry thanks to North Carolina’s coastal fish habitats.
    • The Department of Environment and Natural Resources states that the commercial and recreational fishing industries generate over 23,000 jobs, as well as contribute a combined economic impact of over one million dollars to the state.
  • Offshore drilling threatens our natural resources.
    • The largest estuary on the Atlantic coast is in North Carolina, providing 2.5 million acres of spawning and nursery grounds for various fish and shellfish.
    • North Carolina beaches provide nesting habitats for five of the seven endangered species of sea turtles, including the loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles

Thanks for your help in keeping oil rigs off our coast!