Committee of the Islands

Keeping Sanibel Special Since 1975


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January 19, 2010

A RESOLUTION OF THE OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE ISLANDS ( COTI ) OPPOSING EXPANSION OF OIL DRILLING IN CO A STAL WATERS ADJACENT TO THE SANIBEL AND CAPTIVA BARRIER ISLANDS . WHEREAS , in 2009 Florida House Bill 1219 , introduced into the Legislature of the State of Florida , would allow drilling for oil and gas to within three ( 3 ) miles of Florida’s coastline ; and , WHEREAS , for 20 years , the Congressional Moratorium that prohibits drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf near Florida has protected our economy and natural resources from the effects of accidental and routine operations associated with the exploration and production of oil and gas ; and , WHEREAS , in 2010 there is proposed Florida House Bill 563 which u rges Congress to support expiration and removal o f moratoria prohibiting exploration and production of oil and natural gas in federal waters surrounding Florida and to include Florida in revenue sharing resulting from production of oil and natural gas in federal waters surrounding Florida ; and , WHEREAS , The Vision Statement of the City of Sanibel states that it will guard against , and where advisable , oppose human activities in other jurisdictions that might harm the Island’s sensitive habitats , including the Island’s surrounding aquatic ecosystems ; and , WHEREAS , unsightly oil rigs viewed from Sanibel beaches will detract from the beauty of the Island and harm its reputation as a nature sanctuary ; and , WHEREAS , tourism is an important contributor to the overall economic health of the City and the vas t majority of visitors cite our natural beaches as an influential factor in their decision to visit Sanibe l ; and , WHEREAS , beca use of the potential impact of hurricanes on oil exploration equipment and oil rigs in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico , t he possibility for even small oil spills could result in signi ficant damage to our beaches , plant , bird and fish life ; and , WHEREAS , environmental specialists contend the major risk from drilling platforms is the wastewater they routinely discharge which contains drilling fluids and heavy metals including mercury ; THEREFORE , BE IT RESOLVED by the Committe e of the Islands ( COTI ) on January 14th 2010 , that we encourage all elected City , County , State and Federal officials to oppose attempts to allow expa nsion of oil well exploration in the coastal waters surrounding Sanibel .

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