We’ve all heard about the capsized ship, the Golden Ray, in the St. Simons Sound. Certainly this is a tragedy for the company who lost a load of cars on their way to the U.S. market and more importantly was a tremendous scare for the 24 crew members who rescued by the Coast Guard. However, we are now coping with residual impacts, oil spilling.

Since the ship overturned on Sept. 8 — the Coast Guard, local nonprofits, and researchers have reported oil spilling, and shoreline impacts to local islands, and the confluence of the Back, Mackay, and Frederica rivers, with varying degrees of oil and sheen in the marshes. It’s only a nominal scale, but already having negative local impacts. Can you imagine what could happen if we open Georgia’s offshore waters to oil drilling?

The Golden Isles is a beautiful place, where my family chose to live a life surrounded by beautiful coastal scenes, eat fresh local seafood, and have a quality of life with deeply faith-based relationships to our natural world. Our communities rely on thousands of jobs directly linked to this beautiful protected coast.

If one isolated incident like the capsizing of the Golden Ray can create impacts on our area, then offshore drilling should really scare us. Oil in our waterways and natural environment would devastate our coastal way of life. That is why our elected leaders in local, state and federal agency need to support legislation that will protect our coast, always.

Judi Fergus

St. Simons Island

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