‘Hands Across the Sand’ Protest of Offshore Drilling Scheduled for Aug. 4 in La Jolla

The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation continues its involvement in the international movement opposed to any new offshore drilling – called “Hands Across the Sands” – by sponsoring its annual local protest here in San Diego.

The demonstration will be at noon on Saturday, August 4th in La JollaHere is the facebook page for the La Jolla protest. Protest organizers say any increase in offshore drilling will add to the degradation of the sea and marine life.

Also planned is a Hands Across the Sand action at the Oceanside Pier up in Oceanside, at the same time.  And here is the facebook page for that event. San Clemente will also hold theirs.

Haley Jain Haggerstone, the local chapter coordinator, told the media:

“We are asking San Diegans to help us draw a line in the sand, literally and figuratively, to demonstrate our opposition to offshore drilling and support for clean energy alternatives. The future of our oceans, waves and beaches depends on it.”

The local chapter’s communications coordinator,Tommy Hough, added that the movement is part of the public’s pressure on legislators from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., to bring back the federal moratorium on new offshore oil drilling. Hough stated:

“Californians want to move beyond fossil fuels. We’re tired of putting our oceans at risk and selling short the promise of clean energy alternatives. Long-term, moving beyond oil is the only solution.”

 Actions are planned across the globe, and here in California and the West Coast, there are numerous protest demos at beaches wide and far, including:  Alameda,  Albany, Aptos, Avila Beach,  Bodega Bay,  Caspar,  Fort Bragg,  2 in Huntington Beach, 2 in Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Malibu, Manila, Salton City, San Clemente, 2 also in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, 3 in Santa Monica, Sausalito, Seaside, Venice, and Ventura.

From its website, “Hands Across the Sand” gives us its history and mission:

About Hands Across the Sands

Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations and the borders of the world. This movement is not about politics — it is about the protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fisheries. The accidents that continue to happen in offshore oil drilling are a threat to all of the above. Expanding offshore oil drilling is not the answer; embracing Clean Energy is.

Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting our planet from the devastating effects the burning of filthy fuels and offshore drilling present. On August 4, 2012 the people of the world will join hands to champion clean energy solutions to our filthy fuels problem. Embracing a clean energy future now is the path to a sustainable planet.

What are we trying to accomplish? On a local, national and global level, Joining Hands sends a powerful visual message of human solidarity to our nation’s leaders. We are unified in the defense of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume from dangerous, dirty energy sources. Every time we join hands that message is reinforced. It’s simple and logical: embrace clean energy. A line in the sand is a powerful thing.

The Movement Started In Florida

In Florida on Saturday, February 13, 2010, a statewide gathering against near and offshore oil drilling occurred. 10,000 Floridians representing 60 towns and cities and over 90 beaches joined hands to protest the efforts by the Florida Legislature and the US Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling in the near and off shores of Florida. Florida’s Hands Across The Sand event was the largest gathering in the history of Florida united against expanding oil drilling into Florida’s waters. Events were held from Jacksonville to Miami Beach and Key West to Pensacola Beach.

On June 26, 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Hands Across the Sand went National and Global. The event was announced and the website went live allowing event organizers sign up only four weeks prior to June 26th. It became the largest gathering of people in the history of the world united against expanding offshore oil drilling and championing clean energy and renewables. Over 1000 events were held worldwide. Events took place in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Events were held in 42 countries outside the U.S. including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Belize, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Greenland, Greece, Croatia, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Tanzania, and South Africa.

Mission Statement

1. To bring together like-minded individuals and organizations with the conviction to organize a Global movement to promote a clean energy future for our earth and end our dependence on dirty fuel sources. These gatherings will bring thousands of American and Global citizens to our beaches and cities and will draw metaphorical and actual lines in the sand; human lines in the sand against the threats Fossil Fuels and offshore oil drilling pose to our present and future planet.

2. To convince our State Legislators, Governors, Congress and President Obama and World leaders to adopt policies encouraging the growth of clean and renewable energy sources in place of oil and coal.


A lawyer and grassroots activist, I was finally convinced by Patty Jones to start the OB Rag, a blog of citizen journalists, after she got tired of listening to my rants about the news. Way back during the Dinosaurs in 1970, I founded the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag - OB’s famous underground newspaper -, and then later during the early Eighties, published The Whole Damn Pie Shop, a progressive alternative to the Reader.


  1. avatarLa Playa Heritage says

    An easy way to stop off-shore oil drilling off San Diego’s coast is to create a National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) for the Pueblo Lands of San Diego. Northern California including San Francisco and the Florida Keys are off-limit to oil drilling because of the NMS designation. Taxpayers have already spent multi-millions to explore the San Diego coast line and create digital data through the State’s MLPA process and Obama’s Federal Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. Therefore, costs for a new NMS would be minimal for San Diego.


    See Page 7 of the link above where oil drilling is allowed in areas without NMS status.