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COTI opposes expansion of offshore drilling

By Staff | Jan 20, 2010

To The editor,

The Board of Directors of the Committee of the Islands (COTI) has unanimously approved a resolution opposing expansion of offshore oil drilling in the coastal waters of Florida.

The complete resolution can be viewed on the COTI Web site, located at www.coti.org

COTI feels strongly that the environmental risks of such drilling are incompatible with the vision statement of the City of Sanibel, which is to guard against activities which have the potential to harm sensitive habitats on and around the islands. The potential also exists to injure tourism, on which our island’s economic health is dependent.

The risks of oil spills in our coastal waters which are subject to hurricanes are significant. COTI does not believe that claims that spills will not occur are valid; in fact, spills did occur during Hurricane Katrina. Further, a major risk from drilling platforms is wastewater, produced in large amounts and containing heavy metals including mercury, known to affect human health.

COTI, an organization with over 500 members, active on Sanibel for the past 35 years, urges citizens to contact their elected representatives – City, County, State and Federal – to oppose efforts to expand drilling off the coast of Florida.

Jim LaVelle

President, Committee of the Islands