To the Editor:

Recently, the Northeast has been experiencing severe weather fluctuations, patterns that are primarily caused by one of today’s biggest hot button issues: climate change. Global warming, a euphemism for climate change referring to the temperature of the Earth slowing rising, is observed through a series of irregular and extreme weather patterns due to a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are not, however, the only threat facing the Earth’s environment today.

The environment is being directly threatened by the new presidential administration through reductions in sustainability funding and cutting of protected land acreage. Furthermore, the administration plans to expand offshore drilling along American coasts. Offshore drilling directly threatens marine habitats and ecosystems, as the invasive nature of oil rigs impacts the ability of certain species to find food and may serve as hosts to invasive species. The threat of an oil spill is too great to risk the lives of local marine species, particularly in an environment unfit for the placement of an oil rig. Moreover, the money allocated to this project would only perpetuate national dependence on oil, where it could otherwise establish adequate funds to restore sustainability efforts.

The oil rigs that are used in offshore drilling are relatively fragile, primarily the equipment that often must reach 18,000 feet below the seafloor. The frequency of hurricanes, nor’easters, and other major storms originating from the seas in this area serves to increase the threat of oil rig damage, as oil spills are often caused by turbulent conditions in the areas they exist in. In the event that the administration’s offshore drilling plans succeed, the environmental and economic effects on the state of Connecticut would be calamitous, as well as present a new threat to the health and safety of Connecticut’s coastal communities. As a former Darien resident, I believe it has come time for the citizens to take action to support environmental health by protesting the expansion of offshore drilling, lest we lose the valued state tradition of seafood cuisine as well as the beaches that Darien’s families and children enjoy throughout the year.

Erika Dodge