The Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition is a group of environmental, civic, business and outdoor organizations working together to conserve, protect and restore Florida’s coastal and marine environment. The Coalition has a Sign-on petition to preserve the congressional offshore drilling moratorium. On September 15 the Coalition issued a press release regarding support for a continuation of the moratorium by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association that stated, in part:

“The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association remains committed to policies that preserve and protect Florida’s most critical economic tourism asset – its beaches. We urge Congress to carefully consider the reasons behind the current status of off-shore drilling policies in the Gulf of Mexico. We must continue with legislation that considers the broader potential economic and environmental impacts that could occur as a result of any changes allowing closer drilling to our pristine beaches.

We recognize that our elected leaders must find an approach to best meet America’s long-term energy needs and to minimize our nation’s oil dependency, we just don’t want this policy to threaten Florida’s most critical economic assets, its natural resources. For Florida, this means we must craft a rational and cautious drilling policy that maintains a significant buffer as far from our Gulf shoreline as possible, using technologies that best protect against any possible leaks or spills which might threaten our tourism economy.”