Hands across the sand. Photo Lou Ann Homan
Hands across the sand from article in Ocracoke Observer Aug. 2010 by Lou Ann Homan

Ocracoke will be part of the national “Hands Across the Sand” event in protest of offshore drilling at noon Saturday (May 16) at the Lifeguard Beach.

“This is a national happening,” said Mickey Baker, who is organizing the event here.  “All over the country people on the coast holds hands to stop off-shore drilling.”

All along the East coast, people will be doing the same thing.

Baker said all who want to participate should go to the Lifeguard Beach parking lot no later than noon. People who don’t want to walk on the beach can drive at airport beach and walk over and get in line.

There won’t be any speeches or songs, and it will be over by 12:30 p.m.

“After everybody gets there, we just stand there for a few minutes,” she said.  “Then we just leave.”

As a member of LegaSea, a grass-roots group, Baker fought against and defeated a similar plan in the late 1980s, leading to a 20-year moratorium on drilling off the coast.  

The moratorium has recently expired, and BOEM, an agency in the Department of the Interior formerly known as the Minerals Management Service, has begun the process of exploring the possibilities of offering new leases to oil companies.

Despite a lot of other events on the island on Saturday, Baker encouraged people to come out and show solidarity for a few minutes.

“It means a lot, especially now because of the threat of the drilling issue,” she said.

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