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Commissioners Say NO to Offshore Drilling or Seismic Testing

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Updates from the Board of Commissioners   

May 8, 2019

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard, Town of Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted mayors from several coastal communities on May 8, 2019 for a roundtable discussion on coastal protection, with an emphasis on risks posed by offshore oil and gas exploration and seismic testing, as well as coastal community engagement and federal rulemaking.

Participants Included:
Michael S. Regan, Secretary, Department of Environmental Quality
Braxton Davis, Director, NC Division of Coastal Management
Steve Murphey, Director, NC Division of Marine Fisheries
J. Andrew Sayre, Mayor, Village of Bald Head Island
Ricky Credle, Mayor, Town of Belhaven
Don Kingston, Mayor, Town of Duck
Bettie J. Parker, Mayor, Town of Elizabeth City
Horace C. Reid, Jr., Mayor, Town of Hertford
Bobby Owens, Mayor, Town of Manteo
Ben Cahoon, Mayor, Town of Nags Head
Brian Roth, Mayor, Town of Plymouth
Tom Bennett, Mayor, Town of Southern Shores
Douglas Medlin, Mayor, Town of Surf City
John Davis, Mayor, Town of Swansboro
Howard Braxton, Mayor, Town of Topsail Beach

Woodard Offshore Drilling

April 1, 2019

At the April 1, 2019 Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioners passed their sixth resolution in opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing. View this resolution and past resolutions in opposition of offshore drilling and seismic testing here. 

March 29, 2019

Oceana, Surfrider Outer Banks, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation hosted a presentation from Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic (SODA) at Waveriders Cafe in Nags Head for a standing room only crowd. The presentation was delivered by Peg Howell. Howell is not retired but was the first female offshore rig supervisor in the Gulf of Mexico when she worked for Chevron in the late 1970s. The presentation was attended by local elected officials including Chairman Bob Woodard. 

February 27, 2019

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard spoke at the League of Women Voters Seismic Testing and Offshore Drilling Forum on February 27, 2019. The program was held in the wake of a preliminary injunction filing on February 20 by multiple communities and environmental groups suing to block seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. It also followed an announcement of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) intent to hold an open house meeting on May 14 at the Ramada Plaza in Kill Devil Hills regarding the proposed 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. This event was held in conjunction with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the video was made possible by the Town of Kill Devil Hills. 



December 16, 2018

The Virginian-Pilot published a Guest Column written by Chairman Bob Woodard and Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon titled "No to Seismic Testing off North Carolina" 

May 23, 2018 

On Wednesday, May 23 Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard joined representatives from The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for a teleconference to discuss the threat that expanded offshore drilling poses to the National Park System and coastal economies.

The discussion was prompted by the release of a report that focuses on the benefits that 68 coastal national parks contribute to state and local economies. The full report can be accessed at

During his remarks, Chairman Woodard spoke about the strong economic impact that the three local National Parks - Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and the Wright Brothers National Memorial - have on Dare County's tourism economy. In 2017, it is estimated that these three parks accounted for over 3 million visitors, $191 million in spending, and 2,800 jobs.   

March 8, 2018 

Chairman Bob Woodard and County Manager Bobby Outten traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Federal officials to share the County's concerns with the offshore drilling proposal . According to Chairman Woodard, everyone was fully engaged and listening intently. Chairman Woodard will travel to Washington, DC again next week for additional discussion and opportunities to express the Board's opposition.

BELOW: Meeting with the Department of Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) included  Walter Cruikshank, Acting Director of BOEM, William Yancey Brown, Chief Environmental Officer, and James Schindler, Assistant to Secretary Zinke. Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon also attended the meeting.


February 26, 2018

Chairman Bob Woodard, Vice Chairman Wally Overman, Commissioner Rob Ross and County Manager Bobby Outten traveled to Raleigh on Monday, February 26 to attend the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's public meeting for the proposed oil and gas leasing plan. While in Raleigh, Chairman Woodard spoke to a group of attendees, passionately expressing the Board's concerns. Click here to view a video of Chairman Woodard's remarks. This video was posted by a local citizen who was in attendance. 



February  20, 2018 

On Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, a group of local officials were invited to Raleigh by Governor Roy Cooper to meet with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to register concerns about offshore drilling.  Chairman Bob Woodard of the Dare County Board of Commissioners talked with Dare County Public Information Officer Dorothy Hester about the meeting. 



February 6, 2018 

At their meeting on February 5, the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution reflecting the Board’s long-standing opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing off North Carolina’s coast. This is the fifth resolution passed by the Dare County Board of Commissioners since 1998 because of the potential damage that could occur to our environment and tourism economy. Click here to view the resolution. 

Click on the video below to hear Chairman Bob Woodard share important information about the issue.