KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Many coastal communities have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration. And Tuesday night Kure Beach could be added to that list that includes Carolina Beach and a number of Brunswick County beach towns. A resolution wasn’t passed two years ago but now the town is under new leadership which could mean a different outcome.
Emilie Swearingen, the new mayor of Kure Beach, said two years ago the former mayor supported seismic testing and offshore drilling and that was a factor when the resolution to oppose offshore exploration wasn’t passed. Swearingen said many community members are hoping the council will pass the resolution.
“We have listened to our residents. We have listed to the people on Pleasure Island,” said Swearingen. “And they’ve told us over and over again that they are very concerned about our environment, about our marine life, our economy and most of all our quality of life.”
Pat Holleman, who lives in Kure Beach, she said she whole heartily opposes seismic testing and oil-drilling.
“This is a beautiful beach and we know from other experiences that even though we have modern technology it doesn’t always work,” said Holleman.
Jim Craig, who lives in Kure Beach as well, said he doesn’t agree that there aren’t ways to keep the environment safe while doing seismic testing and oil-drilling. After spending 30 years in offshore exploration he said it’s monitored closely.
“It’s very carefully controlled, by both the seismic companies, drilling companies, and the government over sight,” said Craig. “People have made up their minds before they get all the information, and there’s a lot of misinformation.”
While many towns have made a stance on the issue, local municipalities have no authority when it comes to drilling in federal waters which is far off the coast where the drilling will most likely take place.
The Kure Beach town council meeting is Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Kure Beach Town Hall.