Hands Across the Sand Digital Day of Action Launches Worldwide on May 16th

Ten Years after the BP Drilling Disaster, Activists Across the Globe Gather Online to Stand Against Offshore Drilling

May 11, 2020
Contact: Abby Grehlinger, [email protected], (856) 340-6656, Chris Carnevale, SACE, [email protected], 843-973-2637

WHAT: Local, national and international conservation groups and community activists are organizing virtual demonstrations against offshore drilling in the waters off the coasts of America, Mexico, Canada, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, and Belize to raise awareness about the dangers of dirty fuels and the need to accelerate the transition to clean energy solutions. America’s Hands Across the Sand participants will urge local elected officials to formally oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to expand offshore drilling along America’s coasts and adopt policies that encourage the growth of clean and renewable energy. 

Hands Across the Sand will take place online for the first time in its 11-year history, as activists from across the globe continue to stand strong against any expansion of offshore drilling. The virtual edition will include the release of a video compilation of activists from across the world joining virtual hands to fight offshore drilling. 

WHO: Participants include: Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Healthy Gulf, Bud and Alley’s, SoWal, Urban Paradise Guild, Save Greek Seas, Future Frogmen, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice and League of Conservation Voters. The video will also include remarks from: 

  • Dede Shelton, Executive Director, Hands Across the Sand 
  • Delia Bense-Kang, Surfrider Foundation 
  • Chris Carnevale, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy 

WHEN: Saturday, May 16th at 12 PM EST 

WHERE: Facebook event. 

WHY: The impacts of offshore drilling threaten communities across the world. Rather than invest in dirty fossil fuels, we must pursue a clean energy future. Since President Trump took office, his administration has weakened offshore drilling safety rules and proposed a massive expansion of offshore drilling in American waters. This Hands Across the Sand opposition also comes at a time when communities are commemorating the 10-year memorial of the devastating BP drilling disaster which began on April 20th, 2010. 


“Offshore oil drilling is a dirty and dangerous practice that threatens the health of our ocean and adjacent communities,” said the Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director, Pete Stauffer. “Coastal businesses are already suffering greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic and we simply can’t afford to further jeopardize our economy. The Surfrider Foundation calls upon the Trump administration to immediately cancel its plans for expanded offshore drilling” 

“Clean transportation technologies like electric vehicles make the expansion of offshore drilling a profoundly bad idea. While we cannot join hands in person at the beach as we have done each year for a decade, coastal residents continue to join together to protect our coast against the impacts of risky offshore drilling,” said Chris Carnevale, Coastal Climate & Energy Manager for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. 

“Ten years after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, far too few lessons have been learned,” said Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins.President Trump proposed to radically expand offshore drilling, while gutting the limited safeguards put in place as a response to the catastrophe. More drilling and less safety are a recipe for disaster for coastal communities. While we cannot stand hand in hand this year, Oceana remains steadfast in our support for stopping the expansion of dirty and dangerous drilling.” 

Hands Across the Sand is a critically important opportunity for communities to unify against fossil fuel infrastructure. Now more than ever, we must look forward to a resilient society that does not rely on activities like offshore drilling. The risks of climate change demand that we see a transition towards clean energy sources to keep people healthy, safe, and thriving,” said Ann Creasy, Conservation Program Manager at Sierra Club Virginia Chapter.


Floridian Dave Rauschkolb founded Hands Across the Sand/Land in October 2009. Hands Across the Sand/Land is sponsored by national environmental organizations and others including; Bud and Alley, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, SoWal, Healthy Gulf, and Urban Paradise Guild.