Gullah/Geechee Nation Joins in Contacting President Obama about Banning Offshore Drilling

PRESSURE GROWS FOR WHITE HOUSE

TO PERMANENTLY BAN OFFSHORE DRILLING OFF U.S. ATLANTIC COAST

At 1 p.m. ET Thursday, November 3, 2016, a featured range of local voices where part of a Washington, DC based news briefing organized by Environment America (EA), the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Oceana.  Amongst those voices were Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Mayor Billy Keyserling of The Town of Beaufort, SC & Mayor Johnny Miller of the Town of Fernandina Beach, FL which are both in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

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Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Mayor Johnny Miller of Fernandina Beach continue to stand together in the fight to keep oil drilling and seismic gun testing off of the Atlantic coast.

These participants of the briefing brought their voices forth to make sure that the valuable assets of the Atlantic Coast are not left without protection before President Obama leaves office:

  • Claire Douglass, campaign director, Oceana
  • Frank Knapp, president and CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
  • Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Founder, Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, and Secretary and Founding Member of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association
  • Laura Wood-Habr, vice president, Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, and co-owner, Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
  • Mayor Billy Keyserling, Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Mayor Johnny Miller, Fernandina Beach, Florida
  • Diane Hanson, Council Member, Dewey Beach, Delaware
  • Bill Hamilton, president, Homecomers Inc. St. Augustine, Florida, and South Anastasia Community Association
  • Dr. Kyle Horton, Kure Beach, North Carolina

The leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation put forth a resolution last year in opposition to offshore drilling.   Queen Quet was one of the many people that went to Capitol Hill at the beginning of 2016 to get the Obama Administration to permanently prevent oil drilling on the east coast.  She was honored as an Ocean Hero during the “Coastal Voices Summit:” https://gullahgeecheenation.com/2016/01/27/gullahgeechee-leaders-join-activist-actors-on-capitol-hill/emphasized 

During the press conference, Queen Quet reiterated the fact that “There is a Gullah/Geechee proverb that says, ‘De wata bring we and de wata gwine tek we bak.’  We know that coastal resources are inextricably tied to the sustainability of Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage because we live in and from the sea.”  She then provided this acronym for Gullah/Geechee CULTURE:

Community

Upholding

Living 

Traditions &

Uniting

Resources of the 

Environment

Queen Quet states that “Our fisheries nor our nationally and internationally recognized cultural community can be sustained without a healthy balanced environment.  Seismic guns will cause an imbalance in the creatures of our ecosystem.  This imbalance will have a negative impact on our economy and most of all, on our cultural community that literally sustains our food supply from these oceans and the waterways that connect to them.”

Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and $95 billion in gross domestic product — mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation — rely on healthy ocean ecosystems.  President Obama is currently on the brink of making final decisions about offshore drilling and the use of federal lands and their role in addressing climate change. There is widespread support for a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.  A letter from 74 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives was sent to the White House on September 28. On October 6, a group of 14 US Senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to permanently protect the Atlantic Ocean from oil and gas drilling. 

Just last month, NRDC and LCV released survey findings showing that 59 percent of Americans  would  support permanently protecting the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling. Earlier this year, over 360 Atlantic Coast businesses sent a letter urging the Obama Administration to take the Atlantic out of the proposed program for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. As of today, 120 East Coast municipalities, more than 1,200 elected officials, and roughly 1,100 business interests have all publicly opposed offshore drilling, citing threats to marine life, coastal communities and local economies.  Those that have been participating in permanently stopping this can be seen at this link:

http://usa.oceana.org/climate-and-energy/grassroots-opposition-atlantic-drilling-and-seismic-airgun-blasting

Please join in standing up for the Gullah/Geechee and Atlantic coast! #stopthedrill

www.stopthedrill.org

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