Oceana North Carolina

Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation affiliate The Orton Foundation are proud to support Oceana’s ongoing efforts to protect the Atlantic from fossil fuel exploration and extraction. More than 120 East Coast municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials, and an alliance representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting. Nearly 1.4 million jobs and more than $95 billion in gross domestic product are at risk if dangerous oil activities occur in the Atlantic Ocean.


Oceana’s anti-drilling campaign has seen two major victories in 2016 and 2017:

  • On March 15, 2016 the Obama administration made an historic move to protect the East Coast from offshore drilling with a proposed five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management removed the Atlantic Ocean for leasing from 2017 to 2022.
  • On January 6, 2017, the Obama administration formally denied all pending permits to conduct seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Seismic airgun blasting, an extremely loud and dangerous process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, was originally proposed in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. Oceana has been a leader in campaigning against seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean since 2012.

Note that this seismic testing ban does not include Atlantic waters off Florida and would not affect current oil and gas leases, but aim to stop indefinitely the sale of new leases in an area of the Atlantic stretching from about Rhode Island to southern Maryland — and in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska.

Read Oceana’s January 2017 press release here.