Hands Across the Sand day is Saturday, Aug. 4, and will be observed in Cape Coral at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach.
This international event is a gathering against offshore drilling, said local organizer Rose Young. Hundreds of citizens met at the Yacht Club in 2010 and 2011 and joined hands, and she hopes for many more this year.
The Hands Across the Sand Day of Action will include the joining of hands from noon to 12:15 p.m. at the water’s edge beginning at the boat ramp, with the entire event running from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“We’ve seen what offshore drilling can do in the Gulf of Mexico from BP. We want to make sure that never happens here,” Young said.
She was involved since the first gathering in 2010.
“We stretched from the boat ramp from Cape Coral Yacht Club to the pier,” she said. “We also got 90 percent of the people who were at the beach that day to get up and join us. We talked to every single person on the beach that day and we got them to sign petitions against drilling for oil in coastal waters.
“Of course, BP had just happened, so everyone was motivated and concerned.”
Similar events will be held across the country and around the world, showing thousands of citizens united against offshore drilling and in favor of clean energy.
Hands Across The Sand was founded by Floridian Dave Rauschkolb in October 2009. The event is endorsed by national environmental organizations including Sierra Club, Audubon, Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, Florida Wildlife Federation, Alaska Wilderness League, 350.org, 1 Sky, Friends of the Earth, Conservation Law Foundation, Cleanenergy.org, Florida Coastal & Ocean Coalition Save Our Seas, Beaches and Shores, Inc., Sunetric and Gulf Restoration Network.
“Last year they (participants) were very depressed that we haven’t changed legislation yet, that Gov. Rick Scott is still pushing and passing off our coast.
“It’s not every coast,” she said. “It is our coast.”
She said she’s not only concerned about the drilling.
“I know for a fact pipelines are a bigger problem. I’m from Louisiana where the pipelines leak, and the beach is black and brown,” she said. “They have to run from the platform to the post and it’s deep underwater and you don’t know what’s happening under there and it is very hard to monitor. Look at BP – they said they were up to standards and they were not.
“I would like to see them drill on land, where they could monitor it better. There are thousands of oil leases on land that are not being used.”
Organizers will be circulating petitions that day. “And we will be painting banners. We will send them to the legislature.”
She said Lee County Commissioners and the Lee County Tourist Commission both have resolutions against oil drilling.
“They’ve already done that – because they realize the harm this can do to our economy,” she said.
“I believe we live in the Sunshine State and we need to be in the vanguard of solar. Every home in Florida should have a solar panel on their roof. The new flexible solar panels coming out should be the way to go in Florida. I’d like to see funds appropriated for clean energy.”
Cape resident Kaye Wallace attended the event last year and plans on going again.
“I thought it was well attended. We want people to come out and learn more about the issues and meet kindred spirits,” she said. “We hope the message goes out more. The issue of offshore drilling has become more important to us all after the BP oil spill. We see the impact on the environment.”
For information, call Young at 540-5836 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is handsacrossthesand.org.