More than 600 residents of the Outer Banks turned up at a meeting Monday to weigh in on a proposed plan to open the Atlantic coast to offshore drilling. Turnout at the meeting in Kill Devil Hills, NC, was the largest ever for a the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management meeting. March 30 is the last day to submit comments.
Locals at the meeting expressed concerns about the risks to tourism, economies, fisheries and ecosystems, especially when any potential benefits are minimal. Members of the business community, including the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, also asked for the plan to be tabled.
"For an area like the Outer Banks, any threat to our shores and waters poses a threat to our community," said Lee Nettles, executive director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
One last public meeting will be held March 24 in Savannah, GA. Anyone wishing to submit their comments online can do so here.
Complete coverage of Monday's meeting is available here.