Three Onslow County communities and several from the surrounding area were among those to be recognized by the North Carolina Coastal Federation for cumulatively taking a stand against offshore drilling.
The federation awarded Pelican Awards Saturday to 31 local governments in North Carolina for passing resolutions against offshore drilling for oil and gas and/or seismic testing, the use of sonic waves to search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor.
The Town of Beaufort accepted the award on behalf of all the local governments, the bulk of which are coastal communities, including three from Onslow County — Swansboro, Holly Ridge and Surf City — and five from Carteret County — Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Cedar Point, Emerald Isle, Morehead City.
In March, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it removed the North Carolina coast from consideration for offshore oil drilling, citing local opposition as one of the reasons.
The Coastal Federation said that by passing the resolutions the 31 local governments helped “galvanize public interest in the issue and ultimately played a huge part in protecting the coast and preventing a potential disaster similar to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which would ruin beaches, kill fish and harm coastal economies,” the federation stated.
The 31 local governments that won awards are: Atlantic Beach, Bald Head Island, Beaufort, Belville, Carolina Beach, Carolina Shores, Carrboro, Caswell Beach, Cedar Point, Chapel Hill, Dare County, Duck, Emerald Isle, Holden Beach, Holly Ridge, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Kure Beach, Manteo, Morehead City, Nags Head, Oak Island, Ocean Isle, Orange County, Southport, St. James, Sunset Beach, Surf City, Swansboro, Topsail Beach, Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.