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Residents, tourists join hands against oil drilling

DEL MAR — About 30 people turned out at Powerhouse Beach on June 25 to participate in Hands Across the Sand, a global demonstration of solidarity for clean energy and the protection of coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fisheries.
The event began Feb. 13, 2010, when 10,000 Floridians representing 60 towns and cities and more than 90 beaches joined hands to protest the efforts by the Florida Legislature and the U.S .Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling off the coast of Florida. It was the largest gathering in the history of the state united against expanding oil drilling in Florida’s coastal waters. Demonstrations were held from Jacksonville to Pensacola Beach.
Hands Across the Sand went global on June 26, 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yasmine Zein-Phillipson, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, and member of the Surfrider Foundation, served as chairman of the fledgling Del Mar chapter.
“I surf and love the ocean,” she said. “After the Gulf oil spill last year, I don’t want the place that I love to be ruined.”
Yasmine explained that the low turnout was due to this being the first year that Del Mar participated.
“There is a Hands Across the Sand event in Pacific Beach that’s really big and one in Oceanside,” she said. “Ours will be bigger next year.”
Amy McCluer and her daughter, Katie, traveled from Glendale, Ariz., to participate in the Del Mar event.
“The reason they are drilling off-shore is because everything else (oil wells) is gone,” said Katie.
McCluer blames the United States government for bowing to pressure from the automobile industry, and not investing more in alternative sources of clean energy.
“Humans are killing our planet,” she said, weeping. “People think it’s not going to affect our generation. I want my daughter to come here when she’s my age, and be able to have a vacation on a clean beach.”
McCluer added that a Hands Across the Sand event was being held simultaneously at Tempe Beach Park, overlooking Tempe Town Lake, a dry riverbed converted into a recreational reservoir a few years ago.