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NJ Environmentalists Oppose Offshore Drilling Plan

Environmental group leaders voice opposition to the plan

Environmental activists in New Jersey are mobilizing against the Trump administration's plan to open nearly all of the nation's coastal waters to oil and gas drilling.

Leaders of environmental groups met on the boardwalk in Asbury Park to show their opposition to the plan.

Jennifer Coffey is executive director of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. She says drilling for oil and gas off the Jersey shore could threaten marine life and hurt tourism.

"It is madness, absolute madness to propose oil and gas drilling off of a coast, where we are so reliant upon it for our economy, for cherishing our environment, for protecting our public health and safety, and for enjoyment."

Samantha Kreisler with New York New Jersey Baykeeper says allowing drilling that could come as within three miles of the Jersey Shore is not worth the risks.

"We must take the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon spill and stop this plan from threatening New Jersey's fishing industry, coastal tourism economy, and wildlife including vulnerable and endangered species."

Tim Dillingham with the American Littoral Society says offshore drilling could jeopardize the quality of life at the Jersey Shore.

“What does it take for the federal government to understand that the public in New Jersey wants a clean, wild, open ocean? We didn’t spend 25 years cleaning it up from New York City’s sewage sludge, from industrial waste being dumped off our shore, from proposals for nuclear plants and wood burning, to turn it over to big oil.”

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on the drilling plan in Hamilton next Wednesday.