Say NO to Offshore Drilling By the Chesapeake Bay

A year after the BP spill, Congress stills seems more worried about irritating Big Oil than protecting our coastlines and wildlife. The House of Representatives OKed oil and gas drilling off the coast of Maryland's Delmarva peninsula -- putting the Chesapeake Bay at risk.

The Chesapeake -- North America's largest estuary -- has struggled for decades. Overfishing, pollution from farms and suburban sprawl have stretched the Bay to its limits. Since colonial times, the Bay has lost 80 percent of its underwater grasses and more than 98 percent of its oysters.

Now, on top of all that, Congress thinks its OK to add the effects of offshore drilling, even though the likely recoverable reserves in the area wouldn't even meet U.S. energy needs for one day.

Tell the Senate to reject plans to require lease sales for oil and gas development that threaten the Chesapeake.
Dear Senator,

I am writing today to urge you to reject plans to require oil and gas leasing off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula in the "Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act" (H.R. 1230). The risks of drilling so close to the Chesapeake Bay far outweigh any of the benefits of drilling.

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The Chesapeake Bay is already stretched to its limits. Since colonial times, the Bay has lost 80 percent of its underwater grasses and more than 98 percent of its oysters. Agriculture and suburban sprawl has fueled nutrient pollution which has left the Bay littered with "dead zones" -- areas there there is too little oxygen to support marine life.

The efforts to restore the Bay are already far too anemic. Adding the further stress of oil and gas development could spell disaster for North America's largest estuary.

It's time for our government to put our coastlines, our environment and the jobs and industries they support ahead of the selfish, short-sighted interest of Big Oil.

Please protect the Chesapeake Bay and oppose leasing for offshore drilling near the Delmarva Peninsula.
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