By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On Saturday, May 18th, hundreds of South Floridians, including local leaders will form a human chain along the Miami Beach shoreline to protest seismic air gun blasting and offshore drilling that endangers Florida’s ecosystem and coastal economy.
The schedule is set to start at 11 AM, and at 12 Noon participants will join hands for 15 minutes, forming a continuous line in the sand. Organizers expect this will be the longest Hands Across the Sand line in the state of Florida.
At 12:15 PM there will be a press conference with elected officials and environmental leaders, and the event is scheduled to culminate with a “mass paddle out” of surfboards, paddleboards and inflatables into the ocean.
Oceana, Surfrider Miami Chapter, and Urban Paradise Guild are organizing the annual Hands Across the Sand event. This is one of many synchronized events across the nation to raise awareness about the dangers of dirty fuels and the need to speed the transition to available, affordable clean energy solutions.
Organizers say “Enjoy the beach and leave only your footprints. […] Please do not bring single use plastics to this event (cups, straws, bottles, etc). Some reusable signs will be on loan for this event, so stop by the tents if you’d like to hold a sign.”
The City of Miami Beach will also be presenting a proclamation during the press conference. In 2010, Commissioner Góngora represented the City of Miami Beach at the first Hands Across the Sand event in response to the devastating oil spill off the coast of Florida.
“My hope is that Saturday’s gathering will send a powerful message in our commitment to protect our environment, said Commissioner Góngora. “Our energy policy should be focused on implementing clean energy solutions that are sustainable.”
There are 24 events across Florida, and those interested can find the one nearest here: https://handsacrossthesand.org/events-coming/
WHAT: Hands Across the Sand 2019 – Miami
WHEN: Saturday, May 18 from 11AM to 12:15 PM
WHERE: On the beach, 500 Block of Ocean Drive, Miami Beach