Did you know that Florida’s Eastern Gulf of Mexico may be at risk for oil and gas drilling as early as 2018? Even though the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is protected from oil drilling, there are moves in the U.S. Congress to open it up to oil and gas exploration in less that three years. This May, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) filed S.1276, The Offshore Energy & Jobs Act of 2015. This bill would open up drilling within 50 miles of Florida’s coast, as early as 2018.

Actives oil/gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico (2011)

In Florida, the Surfrider Foundation is committed to protecting its coasts and oceans from the ravages of oil and gas exploration. Join us as we work to stop new efforts to allow drilling off Florida’s coast, and work to extend the moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Check out all of our campaign information below to learn more, and find out how you can get involved!

Why take action?

The Eastern Gulf of Mexico has been protected from oil and gas exploration thanks in large part to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA). The Act bans oil and gas leasing within 125 miles off Florida’s Gulf Coast until 2022. Learn more about GOMESA here.

Without the continued protections of a moratorium on oil and gas exploration, the Eastern Gulf faces immense pressure from the oil and gas industry to drill and spill. Florida’s Gulf Coast is still recovering from the ravages of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, and Floridians are overwhelmingly opposed to oil drilling off their coasts.

Current oil/gas pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico

Ultimately, America cannot drill our way out of an oil consumption problem. We must look toward sustainable solutions that protect our natural resources, rather than drilling for fossil fuels off our coasts.   It is in the best interest of our environment and economy to wean America off oil, and develop a sustainable “energy portfolio” that includes renewable sources and conservation.

How can I help?

In response to the pressure to drill off Florida’s coast, Senator Bill Nelson has filed legislation to extend the ban on drilling in the Eastern Gulf until 2027. The Senate Bill is S.74, Marine Oil Spill Protection Act. Both bills add an additional 5-years to the current moratorium. We support this legislation and encourage other Florida congressional offices to sign on as co-sponsors.

  • Please take a moment to contact your Representative and ask them to protect the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from dirty, dangerous offshore drilling. Find your Representative here!
  • Contact Governor Scott and ask him to oppose any new oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Contact information here!
  • Contact Senator Marco Rubio and ask him to stand with Floridians and oppose oil drilling off our coast! Ask Senator Rubio to co-sponsor S.74. Contact his office by phone: 202-224-3041 or by email.

Where can I learn more?

Check out the Surfrider Foundation’s national campaign, Not the Answer.

Learn about seismic airgun blasting off Florida’s coast.

To learn more about the Surfrider Foundation or for additional information on protecting Florida’s coast from oil drilling, contact Holly Parker at