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Hands Across The Sands To Protest Offshore Oil Drilling

May 19, 2017

People will be joining hands on beaches from Key West to Pensacola Saturday for what has become an annual rite: Hands Across the Sands.

It was started after the BP oil spill, and has become a protest against oil drilling off Florida's coasts.

Jennifer Rubiello of the advocacy group Environment Florida says the protest couldn't happen at a better time.

"Saturday's event comes just a few weeks after the president issued an executive order that directs the Secretary of the Interior to essentially open the door for expediting seismic air gun blasting in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and expanded offshore drilling in the Atlantic, the Arctic and the western and central Gulf," she said.

She says that move could open the door for more drilling off Florida's coast.

A group of businesspeople and elected officials will hold an event at 11 a.m. at the Bilmar Resort on Treasure Island.

Those expected to attend include U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, State Rep. Kathleen Peters, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Mayor Bob Minning of Treasure Island, Clyde Smith of the Bilmar Beach Resort and Frank Jackalone, Florida Director of the Sierra Club.

Protests will also be held in Tarpon Springs, Indian Rocks Beach, Clearwater Beach, Casey Key Beach and Englewood Beach.