Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition Announces its Official Launch



Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce> — Robin Miller, (727) 360-6957, robin@tampabaybeaches.com

Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition Announces its Official Launch

Gulf Coast Businesses Unite to Protect the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and Prevent the Expansion of Offshore Drilling

St. Pete Beach, Florida – Today, the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition (FGCBC) announced its official launch. The FGCBC is a diverse coalition of businesses interests committed to protecting Florida’s Gulf Coast from the threats of expanded offshore oil and gas activities.

Formed in response to efforts by the federal government to open nearly all U.S. waters to new offshore oil drilling, the FGCBC unifies business voice in support of protecting Florida’s Gulf Coast from the devastation of oil and gas exploration. The federal moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico ensures drilling does not get one inch closer to our shores. The coalition aims to replicate the success of the Businesses Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC)—an influential coalition of more than 42,000 business and 500,000 commercial fishing families that are opposing expanded drilling along the Atlantic coast.

“The FGCBC is a powerful collection of people and businesses who have the most to lose under these dangerous new plans. The business community along Florida’s Gulf Coast still remembers the devastating impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. This tragedy resulted in the loss of 10 million user-days of beach, fishing and boating activity, and the impact of the oil spill on fisheries could total $8.7 billion by 2020. We will not allow additional offshore drilling to threaten our businesses and the healthy coasts that they rely on,” says Robin Miller, President/CEO, Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, Chair, FGCBC.

Tourism is the major economic driver in the state of Florida, with beaches attracting roughly 113 million tourists. Florida’s Gulf Coast supports 304,556 jobs and generates nearly $18 billion in GDP through fishing, tourism and recreation industries. Healthy beaches and clean water mean growing businesses and creating jobs. Florida’s Gulf Coast is also home to key military bases, including Eglin Air Force Base, Tyndall Air Force Base, MacDill Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station Key West, whose military maneuvers could be disrupted by offshore drilling and potential oil spills. Further, the Florida Defense Support Task Force – which is charged with making recommendations to preserve and protect military installations – has found that allowing expanded drilling would mean loss of range areas and possible relocation of aircraft/bases to other unrestricted range areas. The missions of these bases are not only critical to our national security and military readiness, but they also provide a $84.9 billion annual economic impact, and account for 801,747 jobs in Florida.

FGCBC’s growing membership includes a variety of businesses ranging from hospitality and outdoor recreation to environmental consulting and renewable energy companies. All levels of involvement are welcome. Become a member of FGCBC today and help protect the eastern Gulf of Mexico from the impacts of offshore drilling. Visit http://www.protectthegulfcoast.org and join the coalition today for free.