Begin forwarded message:

From: Audubon <audubonaction>

Date: April 23, 2010 3:39:52 PM EDT


Subject: ALERT! Save Sensitive Ocean Habitat

Reply-To: Audubon <audubonaction>

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Even as we write this alert, the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening coastal beaches, birds, and coral reefs.

Submit your citizen comments on increased drilling in sensitive marine environments. Beaches and birds despoiled by oil are too high a price to pay.

This week’s catastrophic events in the Gulf Coast1highlight the dangers of oil drilling and underscore the danger to birds, wildlife, and the environment. Yet the Department of Interior recently announced plans that would promote more drilling off our coasts and in sensitive ocean habitat.

Take ActionVoice your concerns on ocean drilling! A long-term energy strategy should focus on clean, job-producing,renewable technologies, not expanded drilling in our oceans.

The Drilling Plan
In March, the Department of Interior issued a revised 2007-2012 offshore drilling plan. Disappointingly, the proposed strategy expands oil and gas development into vast new areas, such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and increases oil and gas exploration in frontier areas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the mid- and south- Atlantic coast.

The plan calls for increased drilling in areas throughout the Gulf of Mexico that are currently under Congressional moratorium and closed to development. The plan also will enable oil companies to buy drilling rights in two additional areas (called “lease sales”)— one 50 miles off the coast of Virginia and one in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

Arctic Habitat Threatened
Made up of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, America’s Arctic Ocean is one of the most productive, fragile and least understood marine ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, the new plan allows exploratory drilling to proceed in this sensitive area, which could begin as early as this summer. Currently, the technology and expertise to clean oil spills in the turbulent, icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean don’t exist. Allowing drilling before we have a baseline understanding of the complex Arctic ecosystem, or the ability to clean oil spills in the harsh Arctic environment, would threaten one of the world’s most biologically diverse and least understood ecosystems.

Take ActionSave sensitive ocean habitat from drilling! Submit your comments today.

1 “Blast Jolts Oil World,” Wall Street Journal, 4/22/10