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Long Trip To Raise Awareness For Clean Ocean Zone [AUDIO]

Two members of Clean Ocean Action are shedding a lot of sweat, blood, and even more sweat, going from Cape May, NJ to Montauk, NY in order to raise awareness about the Clean Ocean Zone.

Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media

Clean Ocean Action member Margo Pellegrino is making the trip on a small outrigger canoe, while Clean Ocean Action attorney Sean Dixon is doing the trek on bicycle, all as part of the 2012 Tour for the Shore. The duo set out Friday and will last until August 24th, traveling several hundred miles each.

On Monday, Dixon and Pellegrino rendezvoused with other members of Clean Ocean Action at the Fisherman’s Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant Beach for a news conference. During their respective rides, both members spoke about their interaction with residents along the way.

“You’ve got fishermen and you’ve got businesses and you’ve got surfers and you’ve got beachgoers and tourists, and they all co exist.” Said Dixon ” The only thing that doesn’t go into that is oil.”

The nonprofit is advocating for a federal bill to call for a “Clean Ocean Zone” between the southern tip of Cape May to eastern tip of Montauk in Long Island. Under a Clean Ocean Zone, non-renewable energy practices (like fracking and drilling for liquefied natural gas) would be prohibited, oceanic pollution would be restricted, and aquatic ecosystems would be protected.

“We have got to almost batten down the hatches and almost have a war mentality because there are some big guys who really don’t care about the small people who live off of these resources.” Says Pellegrino.

Dixon explains the proposed Clean Ocean Zone would simply make official many of changes Clean Ocean Action has been working on for decades. One of them being the closure of eight dump sites along the Cape May/Montauk Coast.

“It’s not anything that’s going to put anyone out of work or change anyone’s outlook on life. What it is, is it’s going to support the beaches, it’s going to support the fisherman, it’s going to support the businesses that rely on all of the above,” says the coastal policy attorney.

Fishing boar captain and Clean Ocean Action board member Jim Lovgren believes preserving the fishing and ocean economy in the state is a more important than allowing oil and other non renewable energy companies to come in and decimate the eco-systems.

“The only businesses this can hurt are businesses that don’t exist here right now, and that’s oil and gas.”

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