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Submitted by Asha Dave on Wed, 04/20/2011 - 5:59pm.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Today is the first anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill, and because of its lasting effects, concerned citizens in our area are trying to prevent drilling off the coast of North Carolina with a street-play demonstration about "what if it happened here?" Beach go-ers witnessed an oil spill on Wrightsville Beach today, complete with Hazmat workers and injured marine life. UNCW Eco teamed up with Oceana, a national organization dedicated to starting a clean energy revolution, to demonstrate the negative effects of an oil spill, like ruining the beaches, harming beach animals and hurting the coast's economy. Currently, there is no likelihood of an accident like the gulf spill happening in our area because there are no oil rigs off our coast, and clean energy advocates want to keep it that way. "I'm from the Gulf Coast, and I've seen the devastating impacts of the oil spill that happened one year ago,” UNCW student Brinkley Hutchings said. “And today we're here to call on our leaders to wake up and really work to protect our coasts by banning all new offshore drilling and work to implement wind energy off our coast." UNCW professor and guest speaker Alina Szmant said wind energy is not only cleaner but cheaper, and the group says North Carolina has the largest offshore wind potential along the east coast. The mock oil spill was part of a national effort today. Demonstrations took place along the east coast and in Washington in order to try and make an impact on lawmakers.

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