You can imagine how many people turned out to the South Beach site of an expanded Hands Across the Sand on Saturday, now that oil actually coats our children and visibly threatens our coastline, sea life, and coastal economies.
"It was unbelievable how many people were out there," said Miami Beach resident Rosalia Abad. "I was standing at 5th and Ocean, and it was just rows of people as far as the eye could see."
Hands Across the Sand expanded from Florida to 599 American cities and 20 foreign countries Saturday, with backing from the Surfrider Foundation, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Environment Florida, and others.
Their aim, organizers say, is to draw a literal and figurative line in the sand to demand a permanent ban on new offshore drilling, more responsible practice where offshore drilling already exists, and a massive investment in renewable energy.
And their modus operandi? A little friendly hand-holding, lots and lot of sunscreen, and a length of black material pulled up South Beach to symbolize the not-so-nice crude that could easily be real with a stroke of back luck or a bout of irresponsibility.
"People are very excited about having the opportunity to send a message to Congress to steer away from our dependence on oil toward renewable resources,'' said Hands Across the Sand founder and Seaside restauranteur Dave Rauschkolb.
The added bonus? No sun-burned naughty bits.