(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President Kim Coble issued the following statement regarding reports that the Trump Administration has proposed opening areas of the Atlantic coast to offshore oil and gas drilling:
"The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, and drilling offshore poses unjustifiable risks to the Bay, its living resources, the tourism economy, and the many jobs dependent on clean water.
"Offshore drilling creates a new pollution source, one capable of significant, even devastating environmental damage from drilling, transportation, storage, or refinement.
"The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake play a critical role in supporting the Bay's natural resources. A significant portion of the blue crab population utilizes these very waters during their early life cycle stages. The crab larvae can float miles out into the ocean on the water's surface after they are spawned at the mouth of the Bay. An oil spill could destroy an entire year class of blue crabs. The economic impact from any spill could be huge, hurting commercial watermen, recreational fishing, and tourism."
"The proposal to open the Atlantic Coast to offshore oil and gas drilling is a direct attack on the health and economic vitality of the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation strongly opposes the proposal."