Proponents of alternative energy development as an answer to fossil fuel dependence take a stand in the sand against offshore oil exploration Saturday in Bradley Beach.

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Sierra Club New Jersey, the Jersey Shore Surfrider Foundation, and Monmouth-based Representative Frank Pallone (D-6) lead the local contributors to the Hands Across The Sand event that's part of a daylong global effort to highlight opposition to new offshore oil and gas exploration targeted for the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Sea.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed and released its draft proposal for offshore exploration, which includes the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia through the Carolinas and on through Georgia.

Pallone, along with other federal legislators representing New Jersey, has spoken out repeatedly against the prospect of drilling that would take place about 100 coastal miles south of the New Jersey shorefront, citing the risk of spills and the likelihood of pollutants migrating with tidal action.

Proponents of offshore drilling have countered that expanded undersea exploration and land-based technological innovations such as hydrofracturing have allowed the US to reaffirm its dominance in a world in which petroleum remains a bedrock of energy and economics while stabilizing fuel costs for consumers, and that fossil fuels are an integral part of a long-term, balanced energy strategy.

Critics contend that solar and wind energy can't bring weight to long-term solutions without investment to refine the means of production and distribution, and argue that every dollar spent searching for fossil fuel deposits is money that could hasten development.

Protestors plan to join hands on the beach near the Gazebo at Ocean and Fifth Avenues at noon.