Line in the Sand

If you live in Tampa Bay, chances are you fully appreciate the many beaches in the area.

This Saturday, you can defend your favorite beach from the threat of offshore and near shore drilling by participating in ‘Hands Across the Sand.’ The event is a way for Floridians to show their opposition statewide by joining hands to protect America ’s best beaches and the $65 billion tourist industry sustained by Florida’s  coastal environment. Participants will gather and hold hands on the beach from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Prior to the event, Pinellas county officials will hold a press conference to explain why Florida’s coastal environment and economy must be protected. The meeting will take place at noon at the Sirate Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach. Governement officials who are scheduled to speak include:

  • Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch , District 7
  • Senator Dennis Jones, D.C., Florida District 13 (R-Seminole)
  • Senator Charlie Justice , Florida District 16 (D-St. Petersburg )
  • Rep. James C. “Jim” Frishe, Florida District 54 (R-St. Petersburg )
  • Rep. Rick Kriseman, Florida District 53 (D-St. Petersburg )
  • Shahra Anderson, Regional Director, office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson
  • St. Petersburg City Councilman Karl Nurse
  • Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, Florida 10th Congressional District (R-St. Petersburg), has also been invited.

Drilling in the Gulf will be debated in both the Senate and Florida Legislature in the next few weeks. Last year in Tallahassee, a proposal to end the 20-year ban against drilling in state waters (the area 3-10 miles from the Gulf shoreline) passed easily in the State House of Representatives, but stalled in the Senate.

For a complete list of area beaches, check out HandsAcrossTheSand.org.

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