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| | William Ligon District 3 158 Scranton Connector Brunswick, Georgia 31525 Office: 912.261.2263 Committees Banking and Financial Institutions, Chairman Bihies, Vice Chairman Reapportionment and Redistricting, Emit william@senatorligon.com Vie Caiman propritions 121-H State Capitol Health and Human Services Atlant, Georgia 30334 ‘ Sudicary Phone: 408 68.1983 Georgia Senate William Ligon@senate ga gov March 20, 2019 Dear Governor Kemp, We the undersigned legislators, thank you for supporting coastal Georgia’ local economies by ‘opposing drilling and seismic testing off Georgia’s coast (Brunswick News 10-10-2018, Savannah Morning News 11-30-2018 & 01-31-2019). We respectfully invite you to join us in submitting a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to demonstrate our Unified support for coastal Georgia’s economy, fisheries, and wildlife, and to document our opposition to the dangers of seismic testing and offshore drilling ‘As you know, on November 30, 2018, the NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released authorizations for five companies to harm marine mammals in the process of seismic testing, These authorizations are the last step before the U.S. Bureau Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) can issue final permits allowing these five companies to begin seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, Scientific evidence shows, and expert biologists warn, that the use of seismic airguns is harmful to marine mammals, fisheries, and could be devastating to the survival of our state marine mammal, the North Atlantic right whale. We are asking BOEM to deny the final permits. Additionally, we anticipate that in the Spring of 2019 BOEM will release a second draft of the outer continental shelf (OCS) plan mapping offshore lands to be leased for oil and gas drilling, The first draft OCS plan was released in January 2018 and included all federally managed lands off the U.S. East Coast including Georgia's coast. We are asking BOEM to remove Georgia from future federal plans that would open our coast to drilling. We do not stand alone in our opposition. Every East Coast Governor, a bipartisan group of state and federal legislators from every state on the Eastern Seaboard, and hundreds of coastal businesses oppose the threats of seismic and drilling off our coasts. More than 200 communities on the Fast Coast have passed local resolutions opposing seismic testing and offshore drilling, To date, twelve Georgia municipalities have passed resolutions, and we anticipate several more | in 2019. Currently, our local resolutions represent over 735,000 Georgia citizens. Additionally, the Mid and South-Atantic Fishery Management Councils, the Southeastem Fisheries Association, the Southern Shrimp Alliance, and the Gullah-Geechee Fishing Association have all expressed concern with exploration activities in the southeast, particularly with seismic airgun use, We are steadfast in our support for coastal Georgia's economy and wildlife. During this legislative session, we are sponsoring Senate Resolution 88 and House Resolution 48, clearly stating our support-for coastal fisheries, tourism, and Georgia’s coastal military operations, These industries are cornerstones of our local economies and are threatened by seismic testing and drilling, We look forward to working with you in this effort to protect our state’s seafood, recreational fisheries, military operations, and coastal tourism, And we look forward to many productive years working together for the good of our great state. Sincerely, Senator Lester Jackson Savannahy District 2 Representative Ron Stephens Savannah, District 164 RM HE Representative Bill Hitchens Rincoy istrict 161 Senator Ben Watson Savannah, District 1 : k ntl ay Representative Don Hogan St. Simons Island, District 179 Epfesentative Midway, District 168