The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of businesses encouraging federal lawmakers to make permanent a moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
In September, the Naples Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to approve a resolution opposing off-shore oil drilling in Florida state waters and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Board also agreed to join the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, an alliance of businesses and industry associations aimed at ensuring the federal moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf remains in place.
The Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition officially launched on Oct. 16, with seven chambers of commerce, representing thousands of businesses up and down the coast. The coalition was formed in response to efforts by the federal government to open nearly all U.S. waters to new offshore drilling. The existing moratorium, which is set to expire in 2022, ensures drilling doesn’t get closer to Florida’s shores.
“The FGCBC is a powerful collection of people and businesses who have the most to lose under these dangerous new plans,” said Robin Miller, the president & CEO of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “We will not allow additional offshore drilling to threaten our businesses and the healthy coasts that they rely on.”
Tourism has a significant economic impact in Collier County. Between January and August, tourism has had an $1.6 billion economic impact in Collier, according to a recent report for the county’s Tourist Development Council. Labor statistics showed that in July approximately 26,500 people were employed in the leisure and hospitality sector in Collier County.
Florida’s beaches attract approximately 113 million tourists to the state, and the Gulf Coast supports 304,556 jobs and generates $18 billion in GDP through fishing, tourism and recreation industries.
For more information about the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, visit www.ProtectTheGulfCoast.org.