Traveling surfboard expresses opposition to offshore oil drilling

PORT ANGELES — A traveling surfboard signed by businessmen in the recreation industries who are opposed to offshore oil drilling will be at the Surfrider Cascadia Chapter Leadership Conference at Camp David Jr., on Lake Crescent today through Sunday.

It will be available to sign at 6:30 p.m. today, said Casey Dennehy, Surfrider Foundation’s Washington coast program manager.

The Surfrider Foundation’s traveling surfboard represents opposition to offshore oil drilling by the coastal recreation and tourism industries. All business owners are invited to sign it.

“Any local business owners can sign the board,” Dennehy said in an email.

Another surfboard signing gathering in the area is set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 during an Olympic Peninsula Chapter Meeting at Smugglers Landing Restaurant in The Landing mall at 115 Railroad Ave., in Port Angeles, Dennehy added.

The surfboard, donated to the Surfrider Foundation by Firewire Surfboards, began its journey in San Diego, Calif., in March and has made its way up the West Coast.

In January, the Trump administration released a proposal to open nearly all of U.S. coastal waters, including the Pacific coast, to new oil and gas drilling.

The current plan includes seven lease sales on the Pacific Coast: one for Oregon and Washington and six in California.

In Washington, the cities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ilwaco, Long Beach, Montesano, Ocean Shores, Raymond, Seattle, South Bend and Westport have passed resolutions opposing the proposal, as well as Clallam and Pacific counties, Surfriders said.

The state attorney general and representatives of the Makah and Quileute tribes also have come out in opposition to the plan.

“The likelihood of an oil spill is a risk that our fishing, tourism, and recreation industries cannot afford,” said Gus Gates, Washington policy manager for Surfrider. “We are asking our federal leaders to protect our coast and our livelihoods.”

In the spring, the surfboard will be presented to the U.S. Department of the Interior as a representation of opposition to the Draft Proposed Program for Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program, Dennehy said.

The final proposal from the Department of Interior is expected in 2019.

For more information, see tinyurl.com/PDN-signsurfboard tour.

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